Friday, 24 February 2017

Luxe Walls by Julia Hill - Where Style Meets Function!

In a world of constantly changing style trends and instant gratification, designer Julia Hill is certainly putting her own stamp on bespoke interior design. After a successful career in publishing and with a strong background in the fashion industry, Julia has recently turned her sense of impeccable style, design and passion to interiors. 

Julia is the founder of new and bespoke Australian wallpaper brand Luxe Walls. It is a versatile self-adhesive wallpaper that can be printed to your design specifications. The wallpapers are fully removable making it easy to apply and use in a number of ways to cover endless design needs. Whether you are looking to transform the mood of a room, reinvent your home, camouflage a wall or simply add some visual interest, Luxe Walls can help you create an imaginative and unique space! 

I had the opportunity to chat with the gorgeous Julia Hill and was inspired by her zesty outlook and her keen sense of style and business. 
Can you share with us your creative journey to where you are now?

Ever since I can remember I took a keen interest in fashion, enjoying how I dressed and accessorised. After many years working in the publishing industry, I took the plunge and created my own accessories and clothing range, Mimi & Me and Julia Hill.

With a love for form, balance and style, I was inspired by minimalist and Asian influences, with each piece offering an understated, classic elegance. During that time, I took a great deal of direction and inspiration from the homemaker magazines as I could see the style connections and trends that were in sync with the fashion we wear.

I am so excited to turn my passion for design to interiors, with a specific dream that allows you to inject personal taste and style into any space and best-of-all - on a budget!
What has been the inspiration behind Luxe walls and your bespoke designs?

Whilst renovating my own home, I wanted to dress feature walls and couldn’t find the right thing. I wanted something that was not permanent but would look amazing. After speaking to my friend Andrew who is in the Grand Format Printing business, I learnt about removable wallpaper and my problem was solved.

Following my renovation, I had so many comments about the walls, that I realised other people are also looking for interesting wall coverings that deliver a personal stamp. The result is a new partnership with my lifelong friend and Mesh Direct’s founder, Andrew Doenicke, to launch Luxe Walls.

Andrew had the digital printing technology and I brought the design element to the business to create a product that is available to everyone; a product that has the versatility that allows individual style and tastes to shine. Because the wall coverings are removable they appeal to a wide range of projects from jazzing up a rental, to seasonal businesses, or simply to add a splash of style to a small space…

Luxe Walls offers a platform to promote up and coming artists and gives them exposure to a new audience and a new medium. I love that Luxe Walls can do this, as it gives artists of differing talents and styles another marketing opportunity.
Do you have a favourite collection or design?

Living in Tokyo when I was first married, gave me a strong taste for Japanese design, art and style. I also love geometrics, vintage, contemporary, textured finishes and of course our featured artists - Robin Appasamy for her relaxed textural art and Cara Jane Diffey for her street designs.
What is your typical workday like?

Very varied!
Sourcing new images for the Luxe Walls site
Many meetings - Marketing, Social Media, Design…...
Staying on top of new trends in both fashion and home decorating
Networking with Interior Decorators, Bloggers and Magazines
Can you describe the design process?

I’m constantly on the look-out for new style ideas - it could come out of a conversation with a colleague or even be picked up from a local cafe. There are ideas everywhere!

I am always looking at Pinterest and Instagram to see what people are doing in their homes, the clothes they are wearing and the way they live their daily lives. It gives me an insider’s view of what appeals to people in both their homes and workplaces. This is in constant change of course, so keeping ahead of the trends is crucial to success in design.

There are definite links between fashion, home and lifestyle and I get a buzz out of finding new designs that our customers can fall in love with.
What are you working on at the moment?

Perfecting our customers’ online experience with Luxe Walls.
Staying on top of the trends and ensuring we have the best designs to fill our customers’ needs.
What according to you is the next big thing in Interior Design?

Wallpaper of course! With our new self-adhesive/removable wallpaper you can DIY your wallpaper with no mess. Due to the advancements in digital printing, we can replicate any image you can imagine - feature walls/metallic/murals and faux finishes or an image from your personal photo album.

Pantone has spoken and greenery is the colour for 2017. With this in mind I expect to see lots of green - especially used as an accent colour.

I think the neutral palette with greys will remain strong - our damask prints from the traditional range are very popular and work well with the casual chic look.

Texture is a huge trend at the moment - be it in wallpaper/ rugs/ and throws. Raffia and Rattan are also having a strong presence.

Terracotta - expect to see pots everywhere!

Darker tones in furniture are making a comeback, and work beautifully with green.

What advice can you give those seeking a career in interior design?

If you are truly creative and passionate about interior design, you will succeed. Follow your instincts and be true to your own individual style. There is always room for something new and trends are transient so persistence and a genuine eye for trends is essential.

What 3 words describe your brand?

Affordable Bespoke Wallpaper

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

I am a shoe-aholic! When I travel my suitcase has more shoes than clothes!
I am addicted to change.
My favourite way to spend an unplanned afternoon is to wander around an art gallery.

What is your favourite room in your home and why?

I love all my home! I especially love my new open plan kitchen/living/dining area that looks out to our entertaining deck. The Luxe Walls Lotus wallpaper we hung in this space looks stunning and ties the exposed sandstone of the original 1870’s part of the house in perfectly with our new kitchen and living spaces. I also love my wardrobe - I can see all my shoes!
Where do you see Luxe Walls in five years time?

With a global presence.
As a ‘go-to’ brand for self adhesive wallpaper
Known as a promoter of up and coming artists
Encouraging and inspiring amateur interior decorators - everyone can be one!
What is your favourite inspirational quote?

An interior is the natural projection of the soul ~ Coco Chanel
With a strong belief in 'form meets function' design principle, Julia's new venture Luxe Walls promises to deliver on both! Her motto "Luxe Walls is for anyone who cares to create!".

Wallpapers are a fantastic way to decorate or renovate your home. And if it is removable...  even better! Pick one that speaks to you or why not design your own? Check out their new website for tons of design inspiration.

As a special introductory launch offer Luxe Walls are offering a 10% discount to all new customers. Just enter the code LUXELAUNCH. How great is that!

Till next time... add a touch of luxe to your walls! 

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Sensual Sanctuary: 5 Tips For Beautifying Your Bathroom

Considering just how often we are in our bathrooms, you’d think it should be a pretty snazzy little room, don’t you?

However, for many of us that isn’t the case. If you’re left thinking that you wished your bathroom was a bit more fresher, your shower area little bit more prettier, you’re not alone. We should all feel happy and relaxed in our own bathrooms, but sometimes it can be difficult to know just what we need to change to get there.

So you can turn your shower and bath space into a sensual sanctuary, our guest contributor Grace has collated 5 top tips for beautifying your bathroom.

Shower Curtain Switch-Up
Whether you opt for crazy and colourful or clean and crisp, the shower curtain you have hanging in your bathroom can evoke a very certain mood. One of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways that you can rejuvenate your bathroom is to replace your shower curtains. Other affordable and swift DIY changes can be to replace your towels, bath mats, face washers, hand towels and anything else that is on display in your bathroom. It's amazing just how much difference a pop of colour or a pleasing pattern can make.

Let the light in
There’s nothing crisper than a fresh stream of natural light. Whether you do your makeup, shave or shower, there’s no doubt that you need an adequate amount of light to groom yourself properly. If you aren’t lucky enough to have ample window space in your bathroom, there are things you can do to capitalise on the sun’s glorious rays. Think about utilising natural light by installing roof windows in Melbourne, for instance.

Add some greenery
Even if you don’t have the time, money or energy for the upkeep of live plants, any plants (real or fake) can add a touch of nature to your bathroom. Along with a splash of greenery or colour, a beautiful bathroom plant can create a warm, inviting, serene atmosphere in your bathroom. Plants also give off a fresh, clean-air feeling. Invest in a range of plants to give your bathroom some texture, such as pretty succulents, vines and ferns.

New mirrors or fixtures
Replacing any old and outdated mirrors and fixtures is a surefire way to give your bathroom an added boost of life. Furthermore, the strategic placement of mirrors can actually increase the illusion of space, which can open up your bathroom and make it look bigger and brighter. If your cabinets and sink fixtures are looking stale, why not switch them out for some new, timeless, contemporary designs for that added wow factor.

Add a personal touch
Make your bathroom your own; after all, it’s yours! Hang a shelf or two on the wall and adorn them with your most beloved belongings to make your bathroom a more personal space. Have your favourite products on display to make your space feel more personal.

Your bathroom is where you beautify yourself; where you get ready to taken on the world and, conversely, where you wind down with a hot shower or a relaxing bath at night after a hard day’s work. So why not make it as comfortable, inviting and inspiring as you can? Stick to these 5 tips and you will have your very own shower sanctuary in no time.

So which tip will you be incorporating? Do you have a favourite or a go to tip to refresh your bathroom or shower space?

Till next time... beautify your bathroom and create your own sensual sanctuary!


About the Author
Grace is a digitally-hungry, content-obsessed girl that loves concocting the perfect prose. Coming from a sizeable history in content creation, Grace’s strengths have evolved to encompass account management, analytical skills and a love for strategy.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Australian Gardening Trends for 2017

Whether you live in a house, townhouse, apartment or unit, big or small, a garden can provide a much needed retreat. Green spaces provide us with the opportunity to unwind, feel at one with nature and de-stress from our busy lives. Our guest contributor Albert, shares some of hottest and latest gardening and landscaping trends set to make waves in Australia and globally in 2017.

Australians love experimenting with their gardens. While some people choose to opt the DIY approach, some others prefer to hire professionals to do the work for them.

Are you looking for some inspiration to give a new look to your garden or are you planning to build a new one? With constantly changing trends in gardening designs and landscaping in Sydney it is difficult to keep up, so we've put together the latest in gardening trends in one article for you.

Outdoor Furniture
Because of the great weather, Australians prefer spending a lot of their time outdoors. A good garden design is incomplete without great and comfortable furniture. Garden furniture can vary from poolside table and chairs to complete dining and lounge sets. Rather than simple store bought, custom-built to fit furniture is the latest trend in garden design.

Rooftop Gardens
Rooftop gardens are a rising trend, especially in Sydney with all the high rise apartments. While they help you to go green, they also offer a brilliant view of the cityscape. Rooftop gardens add an element of liveliness to your property and are a great way to rejuvenate and relax. Also, houses with green rooftops experience less internal noise levels.

Outdoor Art
If you build walls in a garden, ensure that they stand out. Today, outdoor art is gaining huge momentum in the form of sculptural panels and dividing walls. Again, you could take a DIY approach or choose a professional service to create artwork on your walls or why not use artwork as walls!

Garden Lighting
Let there be light! Lighting is one aspect of your garden you must get right. Use lighting along the garden steps or near the furniture or pool. Use light to create arrays of patterns on walls and to make the distinctive features of your garden stand out.

Swimming Pool with Glass Surrounds
When it comes to swimming pools, there are more stringent rules in effect and it is imperative to carefully consider the safety aspects. Glass surrounds are going to be very popular in 2017. The advantage with glass surrounds is that unlike wooden fences or stone walls or concrete with tiles, they are not opaque. You can enjoy the swimming experience without feeling enclosed. It not only is aesthetically beautiful but it helps you stay connected with your garden, backyard or view.

Colourful Garden Pots
If you want to add a dramatic pop of colour to your garden, consider decorating with colourful pots. They are a treat to the eyes and help in breaking the green monotony.

Australian Native Plants
Australian native plants aren’t exactly a new trend. Instead they have made a comeback. Using these plants can be cost-effective since they require minimal maintenance and there is a huge variety available from your local nurseries.

Mix Old and New
Out with the old, in with the new? Not really. Modern landscapes are dominating the new gardening trends but the latest trend is a balanced mix of the old and the new. The planting style is kept in accordance with the design of the property but with a fresh look.

Combining design and sustainability can be challenging but 2017 will definitely see more of it. Landscape designers are focusing on incorporating sustainable methods and practices in landscaping, reticulation and gardening.

Vertical Gardens
When you have limited space, vertical gardens prove to be the most effective way of introducing greenery into your apartments or units. While it has been an ongoing trend, with space at a premium, it is likely to gain more popularity in 2017.

So there you have it, the garden design trends that are predicted to make a comeback or be popular in 2017.  Which one's your favourite trend? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... get gardening!

About the Author
Albert Clamark is a summer-lover and he takes to the beach to whip up his marketing ideas. He is an experienced marketing expert with diverse marketing ideas on how to boost small scale industries in a short span of time. But he is also an avid blogger at heart!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

My Beni Ourain Rug From Sukhi: Design With Social Impact!

Although they’ve been around in the world of interior design for quite some time, the distinctive Beni Ourain Moroccan rugs have recently emerged into the spotlight in the last ten years. A Beni Ourain rug is considered the most prestigious in Morocco and these versatile beauties are the perfect accessory to dress up any floor and accentuate almost any room décor. Soft and plush made from 100% undyed sheep's wool in the traditional criss-cross diamond patterns, the Beni Ourain makes quite the style statement!
All Beni Ourain rugs share a signature style featuring geometric designs or tribal symbols that are meaningful to the weaver. Originally made by the nomadic Beni Ourain tribes living deep in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, these heirloom borderless rugs are still handwoven from natural ivory sheep wool and feature a dark brown almost ebony, diamond pattern woven into the ivory background. Beni Ourain rugs are natural, organic and incredibly soft. The wool used to create these heirloom beauties originate from the Atlas Mountains where an ancient breed of smaller sheep are still bred. These sheep produce the exceptional high quality wool considered among the finest on earth that makes Beni Ourain rugs so luxe and plush, making these ethnographic pieces a precious design commodity. An original artisan crafted Beni Ourain rug starts from $450 and can range upwards of $25,000 for vintage pieces!
Traditionally, these rugs were made by the women in the tribes to shelter them from the cold. They were used as blankets, wraps and bed coverings to keep them warm. Today the popular trend of using these exotic beauties as rugs has taken over the world of mainstream interior design making these free-form patterned rugs almost a staple!I've been coveting the uber gorgeous Beni Ourain rugs for a very long time. In our master bedroom, there is a negative space between the dresser and our bed that was literally screaming out for a rug. When I came across Sukhi, there was no question in my mind, which rug I would love to have in my life. Since I love decorating and blending design styles, vintage with contemporary furniture and accessories, the versatility of a Beni Ourain rug was what I needed to complement and complete the bedroom.Sukhi works directly with the women who create these rugs.Their team of women all highly skilled artisans spend months weaving these traditional masterpieces in their special workshops located deep in heart of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Since with Sukhi, you can buy handmade rugs directly from the artisans, which means that there is no middleman, no physical stores or warehouses, you can save up to 60%! You can order a rug in any colour combination, size and design to suit your specifications, style, colour palette and interior space. But Sukhi is so much more than just an organisation that sells rugs.Sukhi offers a vast collection of gorgeous, authentic rugs ranging from cut felt rugs, felt ball rugs, stone rugs, patchwork rugs, woolen loop rugs, felted woolen yarn rugs and my personal favourite Beni Ourain rugs in a range of sizes. But it is their ethical practices and social message of empowerment and fair pay that really made them stand out from the crowd for me. They work with talented craftswomen from Nepal, India, Morocco and Turkey to create beautiful handmade and unique works of art. Every artisan is paid fairly, provided with excellent working conditions and are more than just a cog in the process and the impact of their fair trade practices is making a huge difference in the lives of these women. You can see more on the social impact Sukhi makes here. On the Sukhi website, you can see who the maker of your rug is and also have the opportunity to thank them personally for their handcrafted masterpiece. How beautiful is that!I’ve fallen madly in love with my original and exotic Beni Ourain rug. I needed a custom size, and Sukhi was able to make a customised handcrafted rug for me. They truly represent tradition, skill and heritage, not to mention a very high level of personalised service and excellent customer care.For those looking to bring a piece of exotic and authentic Moroccan heritage and history into their homes, there is nothing more beautiful, lush and versatile than these traditional Beni Ourain rugs.

The genesis of the word ‘sukhi’ originates from Sanskrit and means happy. That is exactly how my beautiful, ethically made rug with a clear social message makes me feel... happy... sukhi!
Till next time... check out the gorgeous rugs from Sukhi here. Which one will you get?


This post was created in collaboration with Sukhi. Thanks again to Sukhi for providing me with a picture perfect rug! As always, all design choices, 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. To follow Sukhi on Instagram, please click here. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Also a big thank you to the talented Samantha Gloster from Blue Canary Photography, for the wonderful and detailed photos. To see more of Blue Canary Photography on Instagram, please click here.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Free-spirited Ikea PS 2017 Collection with a little Aussie Flair!

Ikea PS 2017 is a fierce collection breaking all the rules!

It's designed for the free thinkers, the serial renters, the freedom lovers, the fiercely independent and the fun chasers. 17 metropolitan designers from all around the world were chosen by Ikea to design this new unconventional collection of furniture, lighting and textiles that includes over 50 products including limited edition items. Foldable indoor armchairs, side tables made from trays that can double up as stools, self watering plant pots and moving boxes that also work as stylish storage options, open up a world of possibilities without the usual rules.

If you don't belong to any of the above mentioned groups, don't be disappointed. There are a few pieces that will look amazing in your home too; like the glass vases, the candle stands at varying heights creating an almost 3D like sculpture, the beautiful throws and the floor or desk lamps that look so retro and fun. And everyone can use one or two of those self watering plant pots!

Available in stores from this February, take a peek at the curated photos below of the new Ikea PS 2017 collection and decide for yourself which piece you need the most! Oh! And did I mention that for the first time ever, two Australian designers, husband-and-wife team Joel and Kate Booy of Studio Truly Truly based in the Netherlands have contributed to this urban collection with a futuristic slant that challenges you to think beyond the usual!
So what do you think? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time...all I can think is... I need those candlestands!
Images sourced from here