Thursday 30 June 2016

From Highway to Driveway - Transforming your Front Yard!

Have you been watching House Rules? We are one grand finale episode away from the end of season 4! This season there has been some amazing interior and exterior house transformations. Apart from all the interiors, my favourite garden transformation by far was that of Fil and Joe's house. The front garden, the white picket fence, the sandstone, the fountain and that driveway is just beautiful.
On first glance the driveway looked like compacted gravel. The colour, the texture, the way it complements the rest of the house, the garden and matches perfectly with the sandstone. I was surprised to find out that it was actually exposed aggregate! From surfacing highways to beautifying driveways, exposed aggregate has certainly come a long way.
Having an exposed aggregate driveway or front yard has a lot of positives. Exposed aggregate has a layer of small stones on top of the concrete which makes it an anti-skid surface for cars when wet. And like concrete driveways it is extremely durable, can withstand all weather conditions, it doesn't show stains easily and is low maintenance.
From a design point of view, exposed aggregate finishes can be matched to the colour of your house exterior or contrast with it, and even the texture of the aggregate, depends on your choice and size of stones such as pebble, shells, silicate and crushed Quarry stone. Who doesn't like options?!

However, unlike other DIY jobs, you do need a professional to pour, expose, wash and seal the surface.
What a difference the new exposed aggregate driveway makes to a house! The transformation from a tired and murky red brick driveway to a Hampton's style driveway is nothing short of amazing! 

From traditional style homes to modern ones, brick, rendered or weatherboard, exposed aggregate works well with all and can be used for surfacing driveways, swimming pool edges, patios, outdoor entertaining areas, footpaths and side pathways. You could choose to create a designer look like this beautiful grey toned driveway featuring Walker Civil Construction's exposed aggregate in Perth along with concrete pavers to create textural interest and complement the landscaping and house exterior.
Exposed aggregate is an environmentally sustainable material that is architecturally beautiful and can make quite a design statement. It is affordable, cost effective, low maintenance and increases curb appeal thereby adding significant value to your property!

Think about adding an exposed aggregate driveway or patio when you renovate your front or backyard. I know I will!
Till next time...

This post is sponsored by Walker Civil Construction based in Perth, WA. They are a full-service design/build company specialising in home exterior construction, re-modelling and landscaping. 
If you were inspired by this post, please feel free to share it with your friends and family and give us a shout on Instagram or Facebook!

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Shower Screens For The Contemporary Bathroom

When designing, renovating or building a bathroom, it is always important to get the big ticket items like the shower screen, bathtub, tiling and plumbing right the first time round. Choosing the right shower screen is critical to the overall bathroom design. Unless you have an outdoor shower, a shower screen is an absolute must in an indoor wet area.

According to the experts at Rockingham Glass, functionally shower enclosures stop water from being splashed everywhere but it's so much more than just a practical consideration. Aesthetically, the right shower screen can create an inviting and relaxing space in your bathroom. 

Glass shower doors have become increasingly popular because of their seamless, airy, practical and functional design and today there are plenty of options to choose from. 

We've put together a comprehensive list of the different types of glass shower screens to choose from that can be customised depending on the space, design style and size of your bathroom.

Double Swing Doors  
Starting with a personal favourite, double swing doors is a great option if you have plenty of space to work with. Custom built black steel double swing doors are aesthetically pleasing and creates a real sense of luxury.

Sliding Doors 
If you don't have room to swing a cat in your bathroom, sliding shower screen doors could be just the solution. 
Design Tip: Just because sliding doors is a common option, it does not have to be a boring choice. Jazz up your shower by choosing a translucent glass and maybe even opt for fully framed shower screen doors to create a chic and stylish space.

Pivot Shower Door 
A pivoting door will let the shower door open inwards or outwards. This too is a good space saving design option.

Corner Shower Screens
If you have an awkward space such as a corner shower or a bathroom under the eaves, this might be the shower screen for you. The screen has two or more narrow fixed panels with a pivoting door in the centre to offer easy access.

Fixed and Swing
Fixed and swing shower screens have a fixed panel and a hinged door and are a popular and easy choice.
Design Tip: They work best in bathrooms that have plenty of floor space for the shower door to swing open outwards.

Fixed Panels
Instead of a door, these shower screens have a floor to ceiling panel of glass fixed in place to create a luxurious walk-in shower. 
Design Tip: If you have a shower over bathtub, you could install one of these along the edge of the tub to create a barrier and stop water from splashing over the bathtub onto the floor.

According to shower screens Perth, there are three options on how your shower screens actually look:

Fully Framed Shower Screen
A fully framed shower screen is where a frame is installed around the sides of each glass panel giving your bathroom a modern look. 

Semi-Framed Shower Screen
A semi-framed shower screen can create a stylish look since it is framed around the outside but not around the door or the sides of the glass panels. This type of functional shower screen is most often seen in hotels.
Design Tip: Use brass or black steel to frame the shower for a elegant hotel luxe or classic contemporary look.

Frameless Shower Screen
There is no frame around the glass of the shower screen at all. The glass is fixed in place using special channels, metal fixtures and clamps. A frameless shower can create a visual sense of space even in the smallest of bathrooms and along with a minimalist look, it is practical, easy to maintain and keep clean.

Glass shower screens are a simple yet effective way to create a contemporary space. The right shower doors can make even a compact bathroom feel spacious, relaxing and tranquil. 

Which shower screen is more your style? Share with us, we'd love to know.source

Till next time...
This post is sponsored by Rockingham Glass. They manufacture and install shower screens using practical and stylish quality fittings and glass customised for your bathroom. 
If you were inspired by this post, please feel free to share it with your friends and family and give us a shout on Instagram or Facebook!

Sunday 26 June 2016

Coral Is The New Black!

Coral is a beautiful colour that not only works well on its own but as a feature wall or décor accessories like cushions, lamps, rugs and even furniture pieces, it can really accentuate and complement any space.

Did you know in the world of colour therapy, energy and vibration, coral is known as the soul spirit colour, the colour of the angelic quality that resides within us? How amazing is that?

Coral can be versatile, punchy, vibrant or exotic depending on the shade used. It can be paired with almost every colour - navy, indigo or pale blues, dark pinks, soft reds, mustard yellows, off whites, mint greens, turquoise, aqua, jade, dove greys, dark charcoals, dusky browns and especially metallics like gold, rose gold or copper pair beautifully! Move over orange, Coral IS the new Black!

Here are a few inspiring ideas on how you could incorporate a touch of coral in your home décor.

Hope you were inspired to break open a pot of paint this weekend and paint something coral!

We have some amazing posts lined up next and a sneak peek of the almost complete playroom makeover! Can't wait! Till next time...

Thursday 23 June 2016

5 Easy Ways To Add Leather In Your Home Décor

There's something very earthy and tactile about leather. Leather is hypoallergenic, organic, versatile and not to mention always on trend! And unlike other fabrics and textiles, ageing brings out leather's natural patina, making it even more beautiful over time. A smart investment and value for money!

In a rich tan colour, leather accents add vintage vibrance and a luxurious touch to any room. So without further ado, here are five easy ways to add leather accents in your home!

First up is the quintessential butterfly chair. Easily recognisable, a minimalist yet striking design of soft, supple leather on a simple black metal frame. Instant Luxe!

Next up - leather drawer pulls. A straightforward idea yet it transforms a simple piece of furniture into a statement piece. These drawer pulls look good in the bathroom or even on kitchen cabinets. Quite easy to DIY as well.

Third up is the novel leather pillow or scatter cushion to add a touch of earthy opulence to your bedroom décor or couch.

Next, the extremely sought after leather Moroccan pouf. Available in a variety of popular colours and even in metallics, these gorgeous leather poufs complement every décor!

Lastly, the new trend taking over interior design...the Captain's Mirror or large round mirrors suspended from a leather strap that wraps around it. Fitting in seamlessly from a bathroom, entryway or nursery, they work well in industrial, modern, rustic and even Scandinavian interiors.

Design tips to keep leather looking as fabulous as the day you bought it: 
~ Apply a good quality leather conditioner every 6 - 12 months
~ Avoid exposing it to extreme heat or direct sunlight
~ Avoid wiping it clean or soaking it with ordinary household cleaners, water or soap.
~ Wipe the leather furniture down regularly with a clean, dry cloth and clean spills with a dry cloth
~ Vacuum dust and debris from the furniture's crevices
~ Avoid using any cleaning products not designed for leather

So there you have it, five easy and hopefully inspiring ways to incorporate a touch of leather luxe in your home décor! Till next time...

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Dress Your Home in Scandinavian Style

Gorgeous minimal interiors flooded with natural daylight, clever utilitarian spaces and a standout in monochrome simplicity, Scandinavian decor is admired and coveted by all those who love a fresh, pure and pared-back design style. And if you'd like to replicate this crisp style of interior design, our guest author, Lana has a few easy and inspiring tips to dress your home in gorgeous Scandinavian style!

Lately, flashy colourful details and patterns are losing their popularity. Today, everyone wants their home to be dressed in minimalistic styles that radiate elegance and style. However before surrendering to just any minimalistic design, consider the beauty, comfort and simplicity of Scandinavian style.
Background Colours
In Scandinavian style, all big surfaces are usually painted in light and soft colours. Backgrounds, such as walls, ceilings and even floors tend to be white, and that makes the whole space feel more airy, fresh and spacious. However, not all walls need to be white and pale. You can choose a wall in the living room to be the accent wall, and paint it in light hues of grey, beige or any other pastel colour of your choice to create a base that can be the foundation for the rest of the décor.
Scandinavians adore including nature in their homes, and therefore it is logical to conclude that the main material in your home should be wood. Timber is practically used everywhere, such as furniture and accessories, as well as for finishing of floors and walls. However, be careful when adding wood, as this elegant style is all about showing real and true beauty; in other words, untreated wood with all it's cracks and imperfections should be part of the interior. After the introduction of wood in major parts of your décor, you can add and layer other textures. Materials such as metal, leather and natural textures such as cotton, linen and hemp can be introduced as they create a warm and unique atmosphere.
Accessories and Details
As the colour palette of this design style is soft and light, your home will need some details to master this design in its entirety. To avoid a sterile feel, layer with small bright accessories to make the room pop. For example, the living room and bedroom can easily be brightened with a soft rug in pastel colours, fresh upholstery, colourful cushions and scented candles.
Add a few copper details in the form of a minimalistic copper lamp, decorative dishes displayed in the kitchen or simple copper coloured vases filled with flowers. 
Decorate the walls with black and white photos of your family or with simple contemporary paintings and posters. Wall décor is an absolute favourite of this style; just make sure not to clutter the walls.
Lighting Solutions
Scandinavian design utilises natural light to create a bright and airy feel and this is replicated in the colour palette. Daylight is number one in creating a warm and pleasant atmosphere and one that you should take full advantage of.
Simple, functional and stylish lighting fixtures are equally important as natural light. Set up several smaller lamps around the house to enhance the décor.
Simple Furniture
Choose furniture with soft and smooth lines that will introduce the feeling of flow and calm. Your coffee and dining tables should be simple and made of wood or metal; your chairs should complement the tables, but their lines can be lean and their shapes can be soft and round. For more comfort and colour, add brightly coloured textured cushions. Sofas, couches and beds should also convey comfort, and their colours should be simple, such as light hues of grey, beige or brown. You can even choose your home appliances to match with the rest of your furniture. For example, a silver washing machine that will blend in perfectly in your new grey bathroom or laundry. The rest of the furniture should also resemble the same characteristics. Closets, cupboards and dressers should be practical and functional with enough storage for all your belongings. 
Decorate your home in this minimalistic style made popular by our fellow Scandinavians and embrace stylish, easy and comfortable living. Appreciate nature and natural textures and make it part of your home decor, and see how well calm colours, soft textures and simple yet stylish design can even change the way you look at life.

Hope you enjoyed our guest post on how to dress your home in a gorgeous and fresh understated Scandinavian style. Till next time...

About the Author
Lana Hawkins is an architecture student and an editor‐in‐chief at Smooth Decorator. She enjoys writing about interior decoration and landscaping. Lana is interested in sustainability and green building, and that's where she gets most of her inspiration.

Monday 20 June 2016

Our Top 10 Hot Picks: Yellow Chairs!

I always find yellow a difficult colour to decorate with. Use the wrong shade and yellow can look less sunshine and more sickly. But what about a cute pop of mustard? Always in fashion...right? An accent chair in mustard or sunshine or even pale yellow? Gorgeous!!!!
Here are our top ten picks of luxe, whimsical, modern, comfortable, retro, fun, sophisticated, minimalist and classy YELLOW chairs!
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Design Tip: Use yellow in small doses...accent chairs, couple of cushions, accessories and if you really love yellow then maybe even a feature wall. Too much yellow can be overkill!
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