Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Dreamy Linen To Refresh Your Bedroom For A New Season!

Decorative wall finishes, cosy textiles, new furniture, warm lighting, layered accessories, sprigs of greenery, pretty flowers all play a very important role when freshening up a space. But often it's the very basics like beautiful, dreamy linen that makes a world of difference! It's amazing how refreshed a bedroom can look if you just change the sheets! And a bedroom refresh is important in every season, after all it's one of the most important rooms in your home.

Since summer is well truly here and autumn is around the corner, a bedroom refresh was long overdue. Previously for winter, my bed linen was a collection of warm textiles and moody colours but for my summer to autumn look I chose to be pared back and minimal. White on white is a classic design choice which pairs well with almost every bed type and decor.

For a look that would transition seamlessly from summer to autumn, I went with the Etoile white quilt cover setEtoile white European pillowcasesMartine sterling cushion from Just Bedding. The embossed white on white cover features a classic floral pattern, woven to create a lightly quilted and soft texture that is both minimalistic and luxurious. Matching euros add a hint of luxe and the softly shimmering Martine sterling cushion completes the overall look. All this ordered online from Just Bedding from the comfort of my sofa!

Just Bedding are a leading online Australian retailer of quality bed linen and accessories housing some amazing brands. Which certainly makes them my number one choice for affordable and beautiful bed linen. Just hop onto their website to have a look and be spoilt for choice!
I am so pleased with my bedroom refresh and if I haven't already, then let me profess my love for the stunning Etoile bedding. Love, love, LOVE!

Till next time... add dreamy linen to refresh your bedroom for a new season!


Thank you to Just Bedding for the beautiful linen. 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. And a huge thank you to all of you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

A professional studio experience in the comfort of your own home!

Every year for my daughter's birthday, we do a professional photoshoot to capture precious moments of her childhood. Three years running, it's almost become a ritual.

Last year, just before Christmas...well that sounds odd, but yes last year, i.e. 2018, just before Christmas, we did a family photo shoot with Celebrate Studio.

I know what you're thinking, so what's the big deal? Well this was our first professional studio experience in the comfort of our own home! Yes, we've had photographers in our house before, photographing the house or the backyard for magazines, blogs and websites but this was so much more special.

Nas, our photographer extraordinaire from Celebrate Studio, was amazing with Elie who is shy in front of strangers and we managed to get some special candid shots in a very short span of time!

A regular child whisperer, Nas got Elie to  relax and smile from the very first photo! Now I'm not saying every child will be the same, but trust me a studio experience in your own home means that everyone especially the kids or pets are more relaxed. For a further personal touch you could use furniture with sentimental value like we did with our antique chaise you can see in the photos or a nice garden setting, under your favourite tree.

Nas got the most amazing range of candid and posed photos of us. But I have to say I love the honest candid ones the most...especially where we were chuckling and laughing with glee, just happy moments if you get my drift!

With Mother's Day coming up soon, this would make a great surprise gift! Or what about a sweet family photoshoot with the grandparents on their or maybe your birthday! Wouldn't that be nice!

With studios in Moonee Ponds and South Melbourne, Celebrate Studio are offering a professional studio experience in your own home. They bring the studio lights and background to you for short sessions in the comfort and relaxed atmosphere of your home. Highly recommend!
Nas's details are as follows:
Celebrate Studio
Ph: 0403 530 566
Facebook: Celebrate Studio
Instagram: @celebrate_studio

Till next time... choose to experience a professional studio experience in the comfort of your own home with Celebrate Studios!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Minimalist Movement - Decorating without Decadence in 2019!

The concept of minimalist living is something that has gained popularity at lighting speed in the last decade or so. Everywhere you go, you’ll see minimalism applied, whether it is in design, living or even photography and fashion. Minimalism is a way to introduce some peace into our otherwise hectic modern lives, and it is no wonder that so many are looking towards minimalist design when it comes to furnishing and decorating their homes. In this article, we will look at how you too can introduce the concept of minimalism into your home surroundings, so read on to find out more!

Functionality Is Key
When it comes to adopting a minimalist lifestyle or design, nothing is more important than functionality. Afterall, if you’re going to get rid of clutter and only focus on what you need, you need to ensure that what you have is not just aesthetically pleasing but also serves a functional purpose. A great way to begin your journey to minimalism is to focus on the necessities. Everything in your room should be functional - from that wall clock to your couch. Choose pieces that serve a purpose - whether that be chic looking storage furniture that helps you hide some of your mess or wooden stools that can be used as both a tabletop and a seat. In a minimalist room, even decorations serve a purpose. A good train of thought is to go for pieces that start at the basics, and only build upon them when necessary.

Clear The Clutter
Look around your space - does it look cluttered? Do you have too many things that you don’t even use? Is your lamp collecting dust from years of neglect? Minimalism is about sticking to the basics and ridding yourself of unnecessary and unsightly clutter. Always ask yourself what can be eliminated, what can be stored out of sight and what items in your home you think don’t quite serve a purpose in your space. Once you have gotten rid of clutter, you are rewarded with free space which you can use to truly maximise the efficiency of your design. A great tip is to be consistent in this process, and do a mini “clearing out” once every few months, so that you don’t let any mess accumulate over time. 

Select Neutral Bases and Colour Schemes
When it comes to minimalist design, one of the golden rules is to select neutral bases and colour schemes. If you’re someone who is more into eclectic and out there styles, minimalism may not be for you! Subdued hues are the best options for a minimalist styled room, with popular options usually being whites, greys, and beige. These colours inspire a sense of calm and bring a zen like quality to any space.

With that said, just because you’re using subdued hues doesn’t mean your room has to be boring. There are a variety of textured paints you can use, and different shades of whites and greys that you can incorporate into your interior design. You can also introduce small pops of colour with some simple artwork or decorations, but do try to keep these to a minimum, or use them more as focal pieces rather that scattering your space with too many different colours. 

Quality, Not Quantity
Going back to the point of focusing on functionality, when it comes to furniture, you’re going to want to opt for quality over quantity. Impulse buys of trendy items may turn out to be a complete waste of money, as they will not fit into your design, nor will they offer you the functionality that you’re looking for in a minimalist room.

Instead invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time and won’t need replacement for a long time to come. Chances are, high quality furniture and fittings also tend to be the most simple looking ones. Minimalism isn’t just about design either - it plays into our lives as we try to reduce the amount of things we dispose of in a bid to conserve the environment and reduce our contributions to landfills. Purchasing quality over quantity will aid in this process, so always look out for pieces that are well made and will last you a lifetime. 

I hope that this article has inspired you in your journey towards minimalism. Decorating without decadence doesn’t have to be a dull process - it is a whole learning journey in itself that hopefully you’ll learn to absolutely love!

Till next time... start a minimalist movement in 2019!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Top Tips for Summer Gardening

Happy New Year! Can you believe its 2019!?! And we're starting the year off with beautiful but hot summer months. Summer gardens are an important component in Aussie downtime. Alongside the beautiful weather, it’s also a bountiful season for backyard flora. 

Numerous plants burst into bloom or bear fruit at this time of year, but the hot almost scorching weather can also be tough on plants, so it’s important to take care of the garden and with some careful planning and the right tools, promote healthy growth throughout the summer season.

Here are some top tips and tools for keeping your outdoor space under control and looking good this summer.

Mulch mulch mulch!
A fresh layer of mulch helps to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. In fact, mulch can reduce evaporation from the soil surface by as much as 70 per cent when applied correctly, so it’s a vital ingredient in obtaining a water-wise garden. It can also help to prevent soil erosion and even-out temperature variations.

First, it’s important to give the area a good weed and soak, then spread a 5cm layer of mulch evenly over the soil with Cyclone’s Multi-Purpose Poly Shovel ($49.50). This specialist tool is moulded from a single piece of polypropylene, making it virtually unbreakable and super lightweight to make light work of shifting bulky mulch. Organic mulches such as straw and bark break down over time, helping to nourish and improve the soil. Just avoid placing them too close to the stems of plants to avoid rotting.

Fruitful planning
Deciduous trees that bear summer fruit benefit from a good prune as soon as the crop is harvested. Plants that bear new wood this season, such as peaches and nectarines, are also good candidates for a summer prune. Summer cuts heal quicker, so there’s less chance of disease entering the plant. It also helps promote a bumper crop for the following season, as it gives the plant plenty of time to develop lots of new fruit-producing growth instead.

Start by removing any dead, damaged or diseased limbs. Then tackle any structural flaws like crossing or rubbing limbs and branches that grow inwards. Finally, cut back one third to one half of all growth made since spring. Prune smaller stems with a Cyclone Aluminium Bypass Pruner ($39.98), and easily cut through thicker branches with a Cyclone Compound Bypass Lopper ($49.98) to help avoid damaging the plant, or yourself, in the process.

Prolong perennial colour
Similarly, pruning faded and dead flowers reaps great benefits at this time of year. Summer is the height of perennial colour, with vibrant species like Rudbeckias, Salvias, Phlox and Blanket in bloom. This action of ‘dead-heading’ not only keeps plants looking tidy, it can prolong the flowering of some perennials and encourage another flush of flowers. Simply prune off spent buds with a pair of Cyclone Floral Snips ($13.98). These tools are specifically designed with delicate blades to help avoid cutting any live flowers early.

Ruffle up the roses 
Most of us think of rose pruning as a winter job, but if you want to get the best out of repeat-flowering varieties, such as Autumn Damask or Gypsy Boy roses, then summer pruning is a must. After each flush of flowers simply prune off a third of the growth in a rounded shape using a pair of Cyclone Straight Hedge Shears ($39.98). Yes hedge shears! It’s that easy. The straight blades are perfect precise pruning, while the stem cutter (known as a notched blade) on the shear is ideal for managing larger stems with ease. You’ll be rewarded with another flourish of blooms six to eight weeks later. A great idea is to time your pruning ready for them to re-flower for a special event or garden party.

Improve your soil
Warmer weather is great for giving your compost heap an extra boost. It’s also an environmentally friendly way to recycle the additional kitchen and garden waste we get around the festive season.

Adding compost to your garden beds helps nourish and enrich the soil by encouraging healthy microbial activity, as well as improve its structure, drainage and moisture holding ability. Add a good balance of ‘green’ matter, like vegetable peelings and lawn clippings, and ‘brown’ matter like dry leaves, shredded newspaper and straw to the compost mix.
For the best quality compost turn your heap every three to four days – air is important to the decomposition process and turning re-heats the pile to keep it in an aerobic state, as well as eliminate odours. 
The Cyclone Garden Fork ($59.90) is the best choice for this task, as the tines help create additional passageways for air and moisture in the pile while turning it compared to a spade. The four tines are also forged from a single piece of steel, so they’re super tough and versatile.
Whenever you’re working in the backyard in summer, its important to do hard work when it’s cool – either early in the morning or later in day. By using the right tool for specific jobs, you can also save yourself some serious time and effort.

The Cyclone garden range comes with a lifetime warranty and is available nationwide at Bunnings Warehouse Stores and all good garden and hardware retailers.

Till next time... have a great week and a wonderful year ahead!

About the company
With a prestigious history that extends for more than 100 years, Cyclone has become the most respected name in gardening tools, landscaping and insect screening. They’ve got your back with products suited to a comprehensive range of domestic and commercial tasks. Designed with comfort and quality in mind, Cyclone tools are built tough to last a lifetime.

Big thanks to Tristan Eastaugh, Product Manager at Cyclone for providing the tips to keeping your garden looking beautiful in the summer months.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Smash Bento Lunch Box Kit Review

My my little lady started full time daycare and I've been on the hunt for a pretty pink lunch box for her, so when Smash HQ approached me to review their lunch box kit I was super excited!

Buying a lunchbox for your toddler is like buying that all important diaper bag. It has to be just right with the right number for pockets, zips, easy to clean and not to mention it needs to look good! Am I right? Well, the pretty and deceptively compact Smash Bento lunch kit makes packing lunches for a fussy three year who loves her raspberry jam toasts with blueberries a breeze!
The Bento lunch kit comes in a cute underwater design which my three year old is currently obsessed with and includes a BPA free lunch box, unicorn sipper bottle, shell shaped sandwich cutter and a 22 piece sticker set which is super handy.

The Bento lunchbox has two compartments that are perfect for separating and storing sandwiches and snacks like fresh fruits, or crackers and cheese or carrot sticks. The lunch box is easy for a child to open yet strong and leak proof which is super handy. The Bento has a relatively large capacity even though it's pretty slim and it's also microwave safe. Best of all, you can put the lunch box straight into the dishwasher!

The 450 ml unicorn sipper bottle with a spill resistant sipper cup is BPA free (complete peace of mind) and dishwasher safe in the top rack.The shell-shaped sandwiches are the cutest! My daughter calls them Moana sandwiches! Other than sandwiches, you can also make shell shaped open pizzas with nutritious veggie/chicken toppings or give shell-shaped watermelon pieces a go! The sticker set is pretty handy too. No more lost lunchboxes! Woohoo!The Bento lunchbox kit is great for the pre-schooler or when your toddler starts daycare or even when packing a lunch for a visit to the zoo or a picnic at the park. It has our seal of approval for sure!

The Bento lunchbox kit launches in store in Big W on 15 December and is only available while stocks last, so hurry hurry hurry!

Till next time... happy shopping!

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Doors With A Little Extra Oomph!

With an increased selection of door designs available these days, it is becoming much easier for homeowners to create a personalised look, whether it be a house or an apartment interior space. A wide range of door sizes, door systems, construction options and style configurations all add up to exciting home designs according to Architect, Julian Brenchley.

Having helped develop Australia’s most famous apartment building, The Block veteran says that while there are more door options than ever, it’s important to find a key look. According to Julian, it is critical to have a consistent design approach throughout an apartment, so as to maintain design integrity, and the choice of a single door design for each apartment is perfect.

Corinthian’s Moda and Deco interior door collections were used throughout The Gatwick during season 14 of The Block showing how good door choices can make a statement and elevate any apartment.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a door style is the level of detail required to achieve the desired design approach. A flat modern door will direct the eye to the door handle or assist in focusing attention on windows or other aspects. A panelled door with feature hardware will add texture and interest, or a counterpoint to a modern look, it can all work together provided there is some integrity in the overall design.

Read on below as we get Block tips, favourites and all the details and door goss from Julian.

Keep it consistent like Courtney & Hans
Courtney and Hans’s all white aesthetic was beautifully simple and anything but plain. The palate was brought to life through statement furniture and furnishings and a plethora of details. Their consistent use of Corinthian’s Moda PMOD4 with its uniform panels created a textural response that engaged the eye without breaking their understated look. This consistency was carried through with matte black hardware that was mirrored in furnishings including the hallway sideboard, artefacts and artwork.
The clean lines and consistency of the solid constructed Moda doors was complemented by the use and flow of the wooden floorboards throughout the main living area and walkways, again creating a consistency of materials.

Create statement doors like Hayden & Sara
Hayden and Sara really showed how to make an impact with your doors in a tasteful manner. The clean and crisp square profile rout lines of Corinthian’s DECO 3S interior doors created a considered balance between modern design and the Art Deco heritage of the building. The premium finish and striking gold hardware of the master bedroom’s double doors created a dramatic focal point that showed style and elegance. The geometric lines of the door were then continued through into the room’s velvet headboard. The choice to use the DECO 3S throughout the apartment created uniformity, while allowing the couple to create drama and interest where it worked best, without going overboard.

Set the Scene like Norm & Jess
Doors are often the first thing you see before entering a room and set the stylistic tone for what’s to come, so it’s important to get them right. Norm and Jess mastered the art of creating a strong design element and continuing it throughout their home. In their guest bedroom, the rectangular profile of the Moda PMOD10 mirrored the floor to ceiling cabinetry adding textural consistency adding the heritage fabric without necessarily copying a specific style.

Timing is everything
No matter your renovation project, always plan your door installation meticulously, it’s more complex than a lot of people think. There’s a lot to consider up front from getting the sizes right, setting out the door openings to deciding on door hardware and overall style. People can get caught out when the wall or opening sizes change after the doors are ordered. Make a size and design decision and stick to it.

Create your own style
Looking into the crystal ball, we can imagine next years’ contestants adopting a number of styles based on their own preferences from heritage or classic approaches, to wild modern interpretations at the other end of the spectrum. Home owners aren’t constrained to simple designs anymore, and this element of choice is allowing a new freedom of design to come forth.
Till next time... hope you enjoyed this article on doors with a little extra oomph!

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.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Keep your garden looking lush in the dry season

Australia has just endured one of its driest winters, and little relief is on the horizon with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting an even dryer and warmer summer. Being mindful of water use is now top of mind for many households as these severe conditions continue to affect communities around the country. This is particularly important in the garden where there is huge temptation to drench withering plants struggling with the heat.

According to Alyce Rigby, Product Manager at Nylex, rather than a light sprinkle daily, it’s much better to give plants a thorough, deep watering less often. It encourages plant roots to grow down into the soil where it’s cooler, and promotes a firm, more dry- tolerant root system.

Nylex have specialist water saving products available that make it easy for you to keep your plants in good condition and help you control water usage. Here are some of our top four tips for saving water in your garden.

Beat the heat
Plants absorb water through their roots, so it makes sense to deliver the water as close to the root zone as possible. Watering wands with a long handle allow you to easily hold the spray down low, to deliver water efficiently to where it’s need most. And be sure to water early in the morning before the sun heats up to reduce water loss to evaporation.

An easy way to efficiently deliver water to garden beds, borders and veggie patches is with a water weeper hose. Unlike others on the market, Nylex uses a unique flat design, allowing it to be buried under mulch to reduce evaporation while keeping it out of sight. The slow drip feature allows for maximum absorption close to the roots. Water weeper hoses are the perfect option for reducing water waste as they have no overspray, also making them great around pools or near tiles where the surface can be slippery.

Making the most of valuable rain water
To help prevent unnecessary extra watering, use a rain gauge to keep track of how much water your garden has already received on those precious rainy days. The Nylex Digital rain gauge has a wireless self-emptying rain collector for measuring rainfall and advanced features such as the specialised alarm to alert you when the set high or low weather criteria are met.

Checking hose fittings
Hose fittings are often prone to breaking or leakage, leading to unnecessary water waste. Nylex has anti-leak hose connectors and tap adapters that connect to any standard garden hose. Other hose accessories like the spray-gun also prevent water leakage or excess run-off with an easy on/off control at the gun, so you don’t have to go back to the tap to stop the water flow. The spray-guns also give you the option of different watering patterns and flow strengths depending on the type of plants you have.

Reuse/reduce waste
Finally, grey water hoses allow efficient watering by reusing the wastewater from showers or washing machines on your garden. The hoses are easily connected to household appliances to drain grey water from the machine to buckets or directly into your garden. Just be sure to use plant-friendly detergents and powders.
Nylex water savings products are available nationwide at Bunnings Warehouse stores.

Till next time... be water smart this summer and keep your garden looking lush in the dry season!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Maximise Living Space With Careful Door Design

With increasing numbers of Australians opting for medium to high-density apartments for convenience and lifestyle requirements, the amount of available living space is shrinking. According to Domain, the average apartment from 2004 to 2009 was 140 square metres, while in 2017 it was 130 square metres – a decrease of 10 square metres in under a decade. Shrinking living spaces pose a difficult challenge for the architecture and design industry, as Australian’s expectations of their living spaces remain high.

End users continue to demand functionality, comfort and style, without compromise. According to Peter Doyle, Business Development Manager, Cowdroy, in multi-residential projects, designers and specifiers are looking for innovative and creative solutions that meet these three requirements at an affordable price, and without taking up too much valuable living space. This includes selecting a door system ideal for small-space living.

It’s important to examine how conventional door systems impact occupants in small living spaces. The traditional hinged door that swings open and closed is common, although they take up significant floor space, can pose as a safety risk (to both occupants and interior damage) and if not maintained, can become stiff and difficult to operate. “For the ideal solution, designers should opt for a track system such as Cowdroy’s Sliding Barn Door, Triumph Sliding Door or Overlay Bi-Fold Door,” advised Mr Doyle. Since 1980, Cowdroy has been the pioneer of the most innovative track and seal products in Australia, delivering high quality, and long lasting solutions for the multi-residential sector.

Cowdroy Sliding Barn Door Track System
Ideal for internal applications on timber doors including timber framed glass doors, with a matte black finish for that industrial look. It has an outstanding feature – a two-piece jigsaw- join track – making up a two metre overall length. In addition, there’s an optional track extension kit with a length of 1.2 metres to cater for wider doors.

Cowdroy Triumph Sliding Door Track System
This system delivers a high quality door solution available in two configurations – wall mount or top mount rack. With its sleek, streamlined and contemporary design, the Triumph system features a lubricated slimline nylon door guide that results in smooth, quiet operation.

This advanced door solution also includes four nylon tyred wheels and a fully sealed ZZ ball bearing carriage that are incorporated into a wrap-around track with an anti-bounce end stop. Maximum operational comfort, easy access and sophisticated design combine to deliver the ideal space-saving residential door system.

Cowdroy Overlay Bi-Fold Door Track System
With a focus on subtlety and performance, the Overlay Bi-Fold Door Track System has been specifically designed for wardrobe/large cupboard doors, pantries, closets and concealed rooms. Featuring a compact and sturdy construction with double wheel assemblies, this folding door system can support door leaves up to 25kg in weight. Dual side rollers prevent doors from skipping off the track and have been cycle tested to 15,000 cycles – ensuring a product that delivers long-lasting, high quality performance and peace of mind.

Providing significant design versatility, the Overlay system is suitable for full timber, timber framed and aluminium framed doors, and incorporates reversible components for left and right hand openings.

Cowdroy Robemaker
When it comes to wardrobes and space saving, the Robemaker is an advanced wardrobe solution with a sleek, streamlined finish. Designed for two, three and four door wardrobe applications, the Robemaker system includes fully integrated componentry, and a patented bottom track that eliminates the need for concealed wheels and unattractive track fixing screws.

The Robemaker system is customisable with slimline aluminium extrusions that are available in gloss white and clear anodised finishes. This solution is also compatible with an optional soft-close adaptor kit.
With these great options, you can truly maximise living space. Small apartments and rooms can benefit from sliding or barn doors. Do you have bi fold or sliding doors in your home? Do you have a favourite?

Till next time... have a great week!

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