Wednesday 30 November 2016

How To Flip Properties for Profit!

Every time I watch episodes of Masters of Flip, Flip or Flop, Five Day Flip or Fixer Upper, I imagine what it would be like to venture into the world of flipping properties. However, there are a few things to consider before you can turn huge profits and have your own TV show! Our financial guest contributor Sarah, takes us through the fundamental steps on how to flip properties for profit.

Flipping properties for profit may seem like the hobby for the fabulously rich or the well-connected hedge fund managers, but if you are thinking of stepping into the house-flipping game, then as long as you do your research, you could turn this interest into a profitable venture.

Organise Your Finances
First things first, you need to know what you are getting into. Will this be a one off? Or, your new business venture? If you are planning on flipping houses for profit, then it could be regarded as being in the business of property renovation. This is a costly venture and you need to ensure, especially if you have a family to look after, that all your current responsibilities won’t be eschewed.

It’s not just flipping that carries the burden of commercial enterprise, even becoming a landlord or lady, with renters poses risks. To protect yourself personally, you might need to register a company and run the project as a business. In the short term bills would be paid, financial management, strata fees and similar costs will be your responsibility. You will also need to keep the house in good shape. It is also a smart idea to contact a financial manager or check out a loan calculator to see if setting up a business renting or flipping is the project for you.

Research the Market
Get to know the suburb and surrounding areas that you are considering to purchase property in. How much are the houses being sold for? What kinds of properties are in these areas? Are there many short-term renters or more permanent owners? Is it a lively suburb, lots of nightlife, student life etc.? What do the inhabitants look for, and how could a property cater to their needs? Remember, working at the low end of the market is less risky. You’ve got more buyers who can afford the property if you’re operating in the less expensive suburbs.

Researching the areas can give you an insight into the kind of property you would most likely be purchasing. Attend a few open houses and see for yourself what kinds of properties are for sale and observe how the estate agents and owners are presenting the property to potential buyers. If you like any of their ideas, make a mental note and remember to emulate it in your own style.

Vet Real Estate Agents
Once you know what kind of property you are looking for, and where you would like to purchase - or even if you have only whittled the list down to a few areas - it’s time to engage the services of a real estate agent. Even if you have a good rapport with the estate agent, do your research on your agent. Check reviewer sites and the various previous properties they have sold and find the person who can make your house flipping dreams a reality. The right agent will help you make the right choice.

Renovate - Update and Upstyle ASAP
Once you’ve purchased the property you’ll realise your work is just beginning. Just remember you are planning to make a profit on this property, so save as much costs as you can in the renovations and get it done as soon as possible. Being quick means you minimise hold costs and you’re not exposed to unforeseen market downturns.

Do as much as you can yourself. Most small fixes or paint touch ups do not require a professional. Do not attempt any structural changes - you need to turn this around quickly. Look up local tradespeople with good reviews on airtasker, yelp etc. Like the estate agents, it is a good idea to build relationships with local skilled people so you can re-enlist their services.

Style is a matter of personal taste and preference. Although you may not want to scrimp on research, you need to have some renovating ideas. Remember that you are decorating for a buyer and not for yourself. It is much easier to explore the potential in a house if you use recognised design tools and systems. Consider creating mood boards before you launch into the renovation. You never know the impact the right coloured couch, or well-placed art-piece can have. Using these tools you will be able to enhance the house’s unique character and style, and get your property flipped fast. Remember the whole idea is to make a great first impression and showcase the improvements.

Take a Leap 
The house is done, the tradesmen have finished and the paint is dry. The real estate agent is bringing around potential buyers and you’re waiting to hear the good news. Once the house has been successfully flipped, it’s on to the next project. House-flipping is a very time consuming effort and flipping properties for profit is not always going to be a goldmine, property investors typically make more money when the market is bad, when there's more stock, fewer buyers and greater competition among tradespeople. But by sticking to a few simple rules you can make a fast profit every time.

If you have the financial know-how, the budget, perseverance, design smarts and skilled tradie connections, you could very well get into the house flipping market and turn profits!

Till next time...fix and flip!


About the Author
Sarah Miller writes about small business and design from personal experience. For more thoughts and ideas, you can connect with Sarah on Twitter.

Monday 28 November 2016

Holiday Impressions with Balsam Hill

Who doesn't love Christmas, well except for the Christmas Grinch of course!

The festive season always gets me very excited! There is a flurry of activity in our home from putting up the tree, hanging up a new wreath on the front door, decorating the house, wrapping gifts in pretty paper, making an advent calendar and paint dipping pinecones. This year, I'm especially excited as I'm partnering with Balsam Hill on their special 'Holiday Impressions with Balsam Hill' project!
Christmas for us is smack bang in the middle of summer! Yes, that's right! While the rest of you in the northern hemisphere are snuggling up in the front of the fire, drinking hot cocoa with roasted smores and watching the soft snow fall, in Australia, we're having friends and family over for a seafood barbecue and jumping into the pool to cool off!

Each year we put up our Christmas tree and decorations on the first weekend of December. Usually the entire house gets decorated for Christmas except for the bedrooms. So this year, I decided to switch things around and decorate the master bedroom first and make it all festive and pretty so that we could enjoy it every day of this yuletide season!

Since Melbourne is as hot as hot can be leading up to Christmas, I decided on a minimalist Scandinavian style to keep the décor fresh and bright in our bedroom and I couldn't be happier with the result.

I decided to dress our home in traditional Christmas colours; a mix of whites, greens and pops of red and gold. The soothing grey feature wall turned out to be the perfect canvas for my Christmas colour palette. I dressed the room with fresh sprigs of greenery, crisp white linen on the bed, adding gold accents on the bedside tables and wrapped the gifts in white wax paper tied with natural twine to complete the fresh Scandinavian look. The muted red festive bow cushion adds a pop of colour and fun and the hand-knitted coral throw completes the overall look. However, the absolute cherry on the cake is the gorgeous yuletide Vermont White Spruce wreath! It feels like Christmas morning every single time I walk into the bedroom!

The festive 32 inch Vermont White Spruce wreath from Balsam Hill above our bed was the inspiration for this space. The size of the wreath is perfect for our bedroom as it stands out from the rest of the décor and at night the pre-lit foliage adds a warm, inviting yet glamorous touch to our room. The Vermont White Spruce wreath has a strong wire frame to support the shape but also gives me the peace of mind that it will definitely not come apart and fall on top of our heads in the middle of the night. The thing that surprised me the most was how realistic the wreath looked! The dark green foliage is lush and full. The needles are long, thick and very authentic. The LED lights twinkle and sparkle at night and the battery pack comes with convinient timer options to choose how long you'd like the lights on for.

The pretty cursive 'joy' was cut out from thick card paper and attached to one of the branches with a bit of double sided sticky tape. The white typography also complements and contrasts with the platinum grey wall and the dark green foliage. The bespoke prints - 'merry + bright' and 'snow' on either side of the wreath works well with the Christmas theme in the bedroom.

I'm in love with my Morning Vibes pillow easy DIY project that I'll share later. The whimsical pillow covers add a bit of playfulness to the décor. They are also perfect as a Christmas gift since who doesn't love a bit of peppy typography? 
The soft cotton and organza quilt cover has a beautiful snowflake motif that is perfect for the occasion. 

I love scented candles and they are an essential in every room of my home. I added a basket of rustic logs to add to the organic and natural feel of bringing the outdoors in. Yes, that's a portrait of Prince that I drew ages ago.

There is nothing more magical than the Christmas lights on at night. I'm so pleased with our beautiful wreath and the warm, cosy glow it casts in the room.

Here's one more photo of our bedroom. I just love how pretty and festive it looks with the fresh colour palette and the beautiful light streaming in through the windows. 

My little one absolutely loves our bedroom. Her favourite part is to jump up and down on the bed, trying to touch the twinkling lights on the wreath!
I could not be more happy with how our bedroom turned out. Minimalist yet festive, it was a lot of fun to decorate and the gorgeous wreath fits our room beautifully. If you'd like a similar wreath to mine, have a look here. Now that the bedroom is all done, I’m excited to start decorating the rest of our home! 
Do you decorate your bedroom for Christmas? Do share in the comments below.

Till next time... from our family to yours, wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and Merry Christmas!


This post was created in collaboration with Balsam Hill. Thanks again to Balsam Hill for providing me with the perfect festive wreath! As always, 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.


Friday 25 November 2016

From Tired to Timeless | 5 Tips For Giving Your Office Space New Life

First impressions matter, whether it is a client or a potential employee walking into an office space. Studies have also shown that an inspiring well-designed office creates a meaningful space that motivates employees to love what they do, feel engaged and comfortable in their work environment. Today we delve into the world of office design with our guest contributor Cherry who shares her design tips to transform a tired office space into a beautiful and creative work environment.

Your office space is a reflection of your business, as well as being the place you and your employees spend most of your waking hours. So, it’s very important that it inspires you, and is a space you enjoy spending time in. As part of my job I visit a lot of different workplaces, and whilst some are bright and inviting, there’s nothing worse than walking to an office that feels dismal. If people aren’t happy where they work, they are less productive and a dingy office is just plain unprofessional. Here are some fundamental tips to help you create a space that you’ll be proud to work in.

Firstly, consider your company’s culture, as well as the type of business you are. A business that works with affluent or older clients may want to set a different tone to a company that caters more for young people, or wants to present a fun and casual atmosphere. Once you’ve decided on a style, you can commence planning and making your improvements with a clear vision.

1. Furniture
Office furniture can often be overlooked but it makes a huge statement about your workplace. You want to set the tone that your business is sophisticated, reputable and trustworthy, with classic furniture or modern, sleek furniture depending on your company image. A good set of occasional chairs for your entrance or anywhere clients will be sitting or waiting for any length of time is imperative, such as Executive Seating One Stop Office Interiors. Comfort is something you want to invest in, as people will be spending a great deal of time sitting, and it is important as you want them to feel relaxed.

2. Plants
Offices can be notoriously sterile, so some well thought out and hardy plants are a great way to bring life to the space. Make sure they thrive well indoors with little light, and you have someone dedicated looking after them.

3. Paint
A quick and affordable way to update and set the tone of your space is of course through colour. Keeping walls white and bright with a statement colour or two adds personality. Choose carefully since you want your colours to set a mood, as well as reflect your company’s personality, theme and logo. Your company's logo is like your team colours and see if you can be reflect or complement them in your office scheme.

4. Permanent Features
If you own your office space, look at it's features such as flooring. You want something that always looks fresh and clean. Modern, functional and easy to clean window coverings are essential. It is of utmost importance to have a clean dust free environment. People need natural light to thrive so think about blinds or even one-way glass that looks sleek, lets in light, gives privacy from the street and goes well with any decor.

5. Homely Touches
Once you’ve created a clean, open, beautiful area it is important to add touches to your office to make you and others feel welcome and at ease. Think about having display boards up on walls that feature your company to showcase a professional and informative feel, photos that add personality, or paintings and art that inspire people.

Make people feel invited and taken care of as if they were in your home. It's important to have drinks at hand for example a water cooler, as well as relevant tasteful reading material in the lobby area next to the waiting space. Scent diffusers add a subtle touch of sophistication and warmth, and cover the smell of reheated tuna sandwiches and printer ink. Have on offer a bowl of lollies or mints, to make waiting more pleasant. People will always leave with a better impression of your company if their needs are catered to. Make visitors want to linger in your space for a while; and employees feel energetic and productive, because that’s the true testament of a great office environment.

An engaging and beautiful workspace creates happy employees and promotes positive and productive collaborations. And a well designed and decorated office space showcases the right impression to clients and customers.

Do you work in a beautiful office or is your workspace in dire need of a transformation? Share with us your thoughts and tips for a good workspace design in the comments below.

Till next time...rethink your office design!
About The Author
Cherry Wastle is a writer living in Melbourne who excels in witty, insightful and engaging content. Her articles have been published widely and she is a prolific contributor on social media platforms. Her specialised areas of interest are fashion, beauty and health.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Modern Pop Art in Interiors

Pop art is a visual art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art is distinctly different from traditional and conventional artwork, created by using imagery from pop culture, cartoons, comic books and popular advertisements.

One of my favourite and most famous faces of the pop art movement is Roy Lichtenstein. His paintings inspired by comic strips, reinventing them into humorous parodies using the Ben-Day dots printing method has been used by countless interior designers to brighten up a space or create  showstopping interiors. Another leading figure in the pop art arena is Andy Warhol, who is famous for paintings inspired by artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisements.

So without much further ado, here are a collection of amazing modern pop art that liven up and completely command the space they are featured in.
Just fabulous aren't they? Vibrant, interesting and definitely conversation starters!

Which one is your favourite? Do you have pop art in your home? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time...pop is art!

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Five Must Do's When Getting Ready To Sell

Any real estate agent will tell you that creating a good first impression is extremely important when you are putting your property on the market. Whatever work you put in to refresh and style your home will help your home appeal to buyers and reward you with an improved result on the big day. Here are a few fundamental must do's when getting ready to sell.

Create space by removing any unnecessary items from your home and store it away. Get rid of clutter and take a minimalist approach to really showcase a few feature pieces in each room and draw attention to bones of the house.

Touching up the paintwork or even repainting the entire home depending on timelines and budget is always a good idea when selling. Keep your colour palette reserved and neutral and instead incorporate eye-catching textures into the mix to enhance design. A freshly painted home, looks new and bright, creating more than just a positive impression on buyers.

Simple things like weeding the garden and driveway, sprucing up the backyard and pool area, mowing the lawn, pruning the garden beds, adding a few new plants and creating curb appeal can add value to your home.

Get professional cleaners in to clean the walls, ceilings, windows, floors, bathrooms and even the inside of the kitchen cabinets, shed or storage shelves in the garage.

Staging your home creates a welcoming impression and looks great in the advertising brochures and online websites. It also helps the buyer imagine how they would live in the house, visualise redecorating the space with their own furniture and connect emotionally with the property.

A fresh, low maintenance, loved yet lived-in house always appeals to buyers. Following these simple yet fundamental guidelines, will help set a welcoming mood and go a long way in ensuring best possible results.

Till next time...good luck at the open house!

Saturday 19 November 2016

How to Choose a Rug for your Living Room

A rug can really make a difference in the lounge, and is the one place one can go with a bold pattern. The rug should never be the focal point of the room, rather it should blend in with the surroundings, and be part of the overall design scheme. To highlight the sumptuous flooring in the living room, it is a good idea to stay away from a wall-to-wall rug and ensure that the size and scale of the rug is in proportion to the room, allowing the floor to dominate.

Designer rugs
Australian designed Armadillo rugs are ideal for the living room, and with a fabulous range of exotic designs and colours, it isn’t hard to find what one is looking for. Woven wool and cotton rugs are elegant and hard wearing, and with a choice of pile thickness and finishes, the rug will showcase the rest of the room.

Define the traffic
The volume of traffic is an important thing to consider when choosing a rug. Wool is very durable and is easier to clean than cotton or nylon, and responds better to a deep clean, which it needs every few months. High traffic areas are constantly pounded by dirt and grime, and while a vacuum might lift a majority, there is a portion that remains and gets impacted into the carpet fibres over time. A professional dry clean will have the rug looking like new, year after year. 

Furniture colour
This defines the scope of shades one can use, and if the furniture is a solid colour, a patterned rug will contrast nicely. Patterned fabric on the sofa and armchairs requires a two tone design of rug, which will not detract from the patterns, and add a little depth to the room. Wooden furniture goes well with a distressed rug, which is a one-off effect created by overdyeing, washing, and other treatments. This style is ideal for a traditional setting, or in an antique environment.

Furniture styles
If a western Australian were looking for something stylish and affordable, there are online solutions with furniture in Perth, WA from Webber Furniture, with more than 40 years of hands-on experience in providing furniture and rugs. Whether one is into Scandinavian or mid-century styles, there is something to complement any décor.

A rug pad
Unless one wants the rug to scoot across the floor when walked upon, a rug pad is essential. Apart from securing the rug, it also protects the floor, and for this reason, it is recommended to use one. The pad also gives a softer feel underfoot, as it adds thickness.

The right size
If the floor is a highlight of the room, it isn’t a good idea to use a rug that covers more than fifty percent of the floor area. Square or rectangular are both popular. And in the right setting, a circular or oval rug will add a touch of elegance and style. 

If a rug is chosen with the above guidelines in mind, it is sure to complement the overall design of the room, and will add to the level of comfort for the occupants.

Till next this space!

This post is sponsored by Webber Furniture, best-known for their sofas, armchairs, rugs and designer lounge furniture in Perth, WA. Read more about them here

Thursday 17 November 2016

House Envy: Serious Scandi-Eye Candy!

2016 has definitely been the year for Scandinavian interior design to peak in popularity! There is something about uncluttered minimalist simplicity along with timeless architectural features and rustic wooden and vintage accessories accentuated by bright, white walls that makes this a much loved, liveable and favoured style. 

If you love nordic designs as much as I do, here is some serious scandi-eye candy! This Swedish apartment featured in our House Envy series today, was built between 1901 and 1903, and is impeccably styled. The apartment features an unconventional layout, stucco and high ceilings, traditional cornices and mouldings, a traditional Swedish wood burning column fireplace, a soft colour palette and an abundance of natural light throughout. The light fixtures and pendants used in the apartment are unique in design ranging from modern, traditional and whimsical like the one in the master bedroom.

The botanical art prints and paintings used to decorate this apartment are simple yet add depth and interest to every room. Plenty of greenery uplifts and adds freshness and brings a hint of nature into the apartment, while organic washed linens and layers of simple soft furnishings make it a warm and inviting space.

I tried to pick just a few photos to feature here, it was impossible. I wanted to share every nook and cranny of this aetsthetiaclly inspiring apartment with you. I hope you enjoy the collection of photos featured here!

All images sourced from here

Calm and uncluttered yet filled with interesting features and art creating an inviting atmosphere, this apartment epitomises pared back Scandinavian style. (p.s. That alphabet poster in the living!)

How beautiful is this Do you have house envy? Tell us in the comments below!

Till next time... pare it back!
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