Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Why Should You Choose European Oak Wood Flooring?

European oak wood flooring has long been the top choice for those wanting a durable, attractive and affordable flooring option. Known for its ability to blend with both traditional and modern settings, European oak flooring continues to be one of the most in-demand flooring options offered by companies today.

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, here are all the perks that European oak wood flooring will bring to your home, investment or commercial property.
Classic Beauty
European oak flooring remains one of the most popular flooring options because of it's classic beauty. Once reserved for the grandest of homes, European oak flooring can now be used to bring the same majestic beauty to your own home or business – simply put, it is a look that will never go out of style.

When you choose European oak flooring, you are also able to choose a grain and grade that best suits your taste and complements the overall look of your home. For example, those wanting a refined, polished look should go for the prime grades, while rustic grades showcase the wood’s natural knots and grains for a more edgy, industrial look.

Low Maintenance
Compared to carpets, European oak flooring requires minimal maintenance. The occasional dusting and wiping is all that’s needed to keep your floors looking pristine, instead of the constant vacuuming that carpets demand. If after a few years, your European oak floor starts to show it's age, all you need to do is polish it to get it looking brand-new again.

Hygienic
Carpets are notorious for harbouring dust, bugs and mites. Wooden flooring, on the other hand, does not allow these contaminants to settle and can also easily be cleaned to prevent any build-up of dust. Oak flooring does not foul smells and odours like carpet does, and spills are far easier to mop up. Finally, European oak is also resistant to fungus and pests, allowing for a more hygienic home environment and reducing your maintenance and repair costs.
Affordable
The widespread usage of European oak flooring is largely due to its affordability. While creating an elegant and sophisticated look, European oak does not come with the hefty price tag that mahogany does, for example. The vast variety of European oak available also allows you to work within your budget, with rustic grades generally being cheaper than prime grades.

Durable
European oak is sturdy and can last decades if maintained properly. This puts it far above carpets, which will need to be replaced every 10 years or so. In some parts of the world, European oak flooring that was laid centuries ago is still in use today, and 200-year old reclaimed oak can still be bought and installed in your home today! Because of this durability, oak is ideal for your home’s high traffic areas.

Ages Well
Like fine wine, European oak ages beautifully. The colour will get richer as the years pass, allowing you to enjoy its natural beauty for a lifetime. Despite this variance, you can be rest assured that your European oak wood flooring will look beautiful for years to come.

Takes Well to Staining
Even though timber is available in a large range of shades and colours, you might still want the flexibility of staining or colouring your floors. Oak takes well to staining and colouring, meaning you can attain any look from natural to dark chocolate.
Stable
When investing in a floor, you need to be sure it’ll provide a solid foundation for your home. Engineered European oak flooring is known for its stability, as the layers are stacked at 90-degree angles, with the grain running perpendicularly, thereby increasing the stability of each plank. Engineered oak boards also do not swell or shrink, ensuring you have a stable floor for years to come. This makes European oak flooring ideal for humid areas, like bathrooms and basements, or in climates with wild weather fluctuations, like Melbourne.

European oak flooring will suit any home or business, regardless of whether your style is traditional, minimal, contemporary or anything in between. By enhancing your property, you also raise it's value, making European oak flooring a worthwhile investment.

Till next time... what's your take on European oak wood flooring?

xox
Rani

About Paveezzi
Paveezzi – The Art of Living is the expert that offers a wide range of flooring for each type of homes and buildings. We provide exclusive designs for your flooring needs that bring in comfort and style to your homes as well as commercial buildings. Our aim is to blend quality with style and bring you the best european oak flooring into the homes of Australia.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Shade, Shine and Style ~ Quick Tips For Sprucing Up Your Outdoor Areas For Summer

Summer is a time of warmth, wonder and endless outdoor fun.

And with Christmas right around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin setting up your backyard for a fantastic festive season.

With that said, given the endless amount of options and possibilities out there for creating the perfect party patio, it can be hard to know where you should begin. That’s why we've put together a few stylish ideas to help you prepare for your summer soirees!

Light & Bright
As the bright, luminous summer sky begins to shift toward the serenity of night, what better way is there to keep things looking stunning than a garden filled with warm, lustrous lights? String lights are a versatile boon to any patio setup, offering a simple way to sprinkle a sense of magic into your surroundings.

Not only do string lights provide a little extra luminosity, they can also be used to emphasise areas of your garden that you would like to draw attention to. They may be a basic backyard addition, but when used effectively, string lights can turn even the most lacklustre areas of a garden into stunning centrepieces for guests to enjoy.

Food For Thought
While it may appear a little out of place to the rest of the world, December in Australia is synonymous with outdoor dining. More specifically, the scent of barbecued meats and treats is practically inescapable come Christmas, and now is the time to prepare.

Although there are many options available to you, from the traditional smoky flavour of charcoal, to the efficient intensity of an infrared BBQ, there are more things to keep in mind than just your tastebuds. For those that are more stylishly-inclined, finding a barbecue that fits seamlessly into your space is an absolute must.

In this regard, the most important factor is space. The largest model available may give you the power to feed a small army, but if it’s taking up half of your limited patio space, it’s not likely to lend itself to a particularly comfortable backyard vibe. It’s all about working within your limitations, and a smaller barbecue will still give you the tools you need to create an exceptional culinary experience.

Patio Plant Perfection
When designing your interiors, your decor choices are based on style, setting and taste, so why shouldn’t the same go for your garden? The plants that reside within your garden make up such a vital part of its aesthetic appeal, yet so many of us simply stick with the trees, shrubs and, well, weeds that came with the property.

Nature offers up an innumerable amount of options when it comes to sculpting your outdoor areas, it’s all about finding plants that you like and pairing them well. Just remember, some plants are more temperamental than others, so it’s a good idea to do some research before reaching for your shovel.

Click here for a list of native Australian plants with pictures and details about each one.

From flourishing flower arrangements to the simplicity of birch trees, taking a more curated approach to your nature nurturing is sure to bring new life into your outdoor living spaces!

So, there you have it! While there are hundreds of things that can be done to spruce up your outdoor areas for the summer months, hopefully we’ve given you a few extra ideas to assist you in building your backyard!

Till next time... spruce up the backyard for summer entertaining!

xox
Rani

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

10 Gardening Tips for the Modern Home

It seems that modern homes are trendy these days. And with modern homes, come equally modern gardens. But what exactly is a modern garden?

Modern garden design is the opposite of what you would imagine a bohemian wildlife-friendly garden to look like. Crisp and clean lines are key features which open up space and give it that fresh look. Modern garden designs lean more towards the minimalist, functional and sparse look with emphasis on strong structural and graphic elements. Concrete, rocks, timbers, lighting, wood are common materials that are used in a modern garden. Plants are still used, albeit minimal to leave more room for function.

Modern gardens are also easy to maintain. And that’s only logical since people who opt for sleek-looking gardens tend to have less free time on their hands. This provides the perfect place to relax from a busy and hectic lifestyle.

Today, we're chatting with guest contributor Emma, who shares a detailed list of her top ten modern gardening tips. The idea of having a garden is fun, but if your place lacks in space or you just don’t have the luxury of time, then this guide is for you.

Have a focal point
A focal point is one of the most fundamental principles of designing. It’s not a new idea, but it’s necessary for modern gardening. Having at least one focal point is enough since you’re after a minimalistic look.

An excellent focal point can be plants, statuary, a boulder, a mini waterfall, a beautiful fire pit or a pond. It can be anything as long as it serves its purpose -- to catch attention. As far as a focal point is concerned, the possibilities are just endless.

The trick to an effective focal point is placement. It’s usually placed in the center to draw the eyes. The goal is to keep your garden from becoming dull and lifeless. 

Raised garden beds
Raised garden beds are ideal for growing small plots of veggies and flowers. The best thing about them is that you can design them however you want.

Since the level of soil is raised, it reduces the need to bend over when tending to plants. This reduces back pain which makes them even more ideal for the elderly and people with mobility problems. Well-built beds can also allow the gardener to sit on the edge, giving the knees a rest.

Some more of their benefits are good aeration, better drainage as the soil isn’t compacted, which also makes weed control much easier. They’re a great space saver too!

Raised beds can be built in many places, including on top of grass, concrete, or gravel. If your garden is completely paved and all lawn has been removed, using these beds is an easy way to bring greenery back to your garden.

If budget is an issue, you can build your own raised garden beds instead of buying them. This is a great way to make your work in the garden feel that much more rewarding.

Gravel
Another great idea in modern gardening is the use of gravel. It shouldn’t come as a surprise since gravel has been used in gardens during the 1970s as a solution against drought. And since then, gravel has been a favourite choice for many because it is:
  • Durable, but with an organic feel
  • Extremely flexible in its uses
  • Affordable
  • Usable in any climate
Your potential design ideas when using gravel are endless, as it comes in a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes, so you won’t run out of options. With careful planning and the right plants, a gravel garden can thrive without frequent watering.

If you’re looking for a maintenance-free garden, consider using gravel.

Lighting
Proper lighting also plays a significant role in a modern garden, especially at night.

To figure out which kind of lights you need, you have to determine what their purpose will be. Are you planning to use them to accentuate your garden? Do you need them to emphasize your focal point? Or instead, to light the way around your garden?

These are just some of the questions that you need to answer before you begin your search. There’s a lot of different types of lighting for you to choose from, depending on the theme of your garden. The most common ones are lamps, lanterns, and globe lights.

If possible, go with solar-powered lights. They’re so easy to set up that you can do it yourself minus the danger of electrocution! You save a lot on your bills and ultimately, you help protect the environment. 

Gardening indoors
The number of urban dwellers is steadily increasing which results in less space for everything, including gardens.

Still, space shouldn’t stop us from gardening. That’s probably why indoor gardening has started to gain attention. After all, growing plants, herbs, or veggies in the comfort of your home is so easy to do.

The benefits of plants are not only limited to making your home aesthetically pleasing. In fact, indoor gardening has a lot of health and social benefits that you’re probably not even aware of.

Growing them in an indoor environment means less maintenance is required, you don’t have to pull any weeds, and they’re free from pests and diseases.

Research has shown that plants improve people’s well-being and productivity levels. Our levels of empathy and compassion are also increased by tending to the needs of plants. An indoor garden can supply you with free and fresh vegetables for you to enjoy all year.  Certain indoor plants help improve air quality by removing harmful chemicals, lowering the risk of respiratory illnesses. 

Container gardening
This concept is very much similar to raised garden beds except for one main difference. That is, containers are more movable than raised beds since they’re smaller in size. Pots are a favourite choice when it comes to container gardening.

Since container gardening is a lot like raised beds, its advantages are pretty much the same with the addition of the following:
Portability - plants in containers can be quickly moved to a more suitable sunny or shady location
Versatility - you can place the containers anywhere like on a balcony, rooftop, indoors on window sills, etc
Options- A wider range of plant options - you’re not limited to the type of soil since you can use different soils for different containers
Flexibility - rearranging the plants based on personal preference is so much easier
Decorative - You can choose your pots to match a theme for your modern garden, or choose quirky designs to add personality.

Water garden
Adding a water feature in your garden is also a hot trend these days. What’s great about water gardens is that they no longer have to be installed outdoors. Customized water features have already found their way indoors too.

While the initial pond fill may require a substantial amount of water, the rest of the process is smooth sailing. It takes less water moving forward since this type of garden is self-sustaining.

A water feature adds a great touch to your garden. You can even put fish in your pond to give it a more natural look. You get yourself a lovely water garden, and you also get to have low-maintenance pets. Fish are especially fun for kids to look after.

Water also helps keep your home fresh during hot summer days, and adds humidity during the cold winter. Flowing water has been known to have healing capabilities, which is why you’d often see them in hospitals and meditation rooms.

If you want to enjoy natural beauty, a place to relax, and drown the noise of busy streets, a water garden is a must have. 

Native plants
Growing native plants in your garden is also an excellent idea. Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they’ve evolved. By creating a native plant garden, you help in preserving biodiversity and it also brings heaps of benefits to you.
  • Native plants don’t need frequent watering. Most of them even thrive on the regular rainfall they’ve adjusted to in the region
  • They’re pest and disease-free since they’ve already developed natural defenses
  • You support the local ecology
  • Native plants don’t need a lot of hard work because they can survive on their own as they have already evolved to survive in your garden
  • They also attract native animals like birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. 
  • They are adaptable to climate changes
A garden doesn’t necessarily need exotic plants to look beautiful. Native plants are so easy to maintain, acquire and can blend well with anything. 

Vertical gardens
When you just don’t have a place like a yard or if indoor gardening is also not an option, vertical gardening is the way to go.

This type of gardening is ideal for people who have insufficient space, as vertical gardens grow upwards, hence the name. They usually make use of trellises and fences and you can even grow them on walls. Vertical gardening is a very clever idea which is more suited to urban areas where space is scarce.

So why choose vertical gardening? This is perfect for you if you want to:
  • Maximize the limited space that you have
  • Contain your garden
  • Hide an unsightly feature in your outdoor area
  • Save your back since these plants are more accessible to reach
  • ‘Soften’ hard landscape features
  • Improve air quality
  • Create a microclimate

Artificial grass
When all other options are not viable, you’ll never go wrong with synthetic turf. Admittedly, some people just can't maintain a garden no matter how minimal effort is required from them. ‘So many things to do, so little time,’ is more often than not, accurate.

As much as we’d like to have luscious green grass on our lawn, it can be a massive task to maintain. Mowing can already take two to three hours of your time per week. A busy person who’s juggling a lot of things could make better use of this time.

Artificial grass has grown in popularity because it eliminates that problem and other issues as well. For instance, it:
  • Reduces your carbon footprint from petrol-driven mowers
  • Allows older people and those with health issues to enjoy a nice-looking garden, minus the work
  • Doesn’t need any fertilisers
  • Doesn’t get muddy
  • Can reduce the risk of injury from slipping since they have more traction compared to natural grass.
  • Is suited for any weather and looks good all year round
  • Can be installed anywhere
With so many benefits for your modern garden, it’s no wonder more and more people are replacing their lawns with artificial grass.

Sometimes people say the phrase, “Gardening is not for everyone.” If it’s coming from someone who lacks free time or has never dabbled in gardening, they can be forgiven for thinking this. However, you can prove them wrong with the tips provided in this guide. All you need are the right tools, the right plants, a creative mind and a little effort.

Till next time... create something functional and beautiful!

xox
Rani

Author Bio
Emma is a part-time property developer who loves sharing how others can make their homes amazing both inside and out on her blog Fixtures and Flowers. You can chat to Emma on Twitter.

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Inspiration For The Décor Lover!

If you are reading this, then you are obviously a design lover or know someone who is a décor addict like me! And Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in some beautiful décor pieces to spruce up your living space and get set to entertain friends and family.

In my opinion, the worst thing about gift shopping is the exhausting process of looking around trying to think hard if the gift you buy will be well received by the recipient especially if you're time poor with work, household chores or babies and kids or if your partner is a décor lover and you don't know what to get him or her. To make this tedious process as easy and enjoyable as possible, I've put together a list of my Top 12 Christmas Gift Inspiration for Décor Lovers!

So without much further ado, here are my top 12 amazing gift inspiration ranging from the pretty, the comfy or the ultimate Christmas gifts for the décor lover in your life! (And there's something to fit every budget and interior style!)
1. Bermuda Lifestyle Bean Bag | 2.  Carly Small Wall Hanging | 3. Hank Brick Lamp with Pink Cable | 4. Black Grid Mood Board with Suede Mushroom Leather Straps | 5. Silver Feather Dove Wreath | 6. LA Building Blush Canvas | 7. Rose Gold Prague Side Table | 8. Paulownia Round Wood Tealight Holder | 9. Franklin Drinks Trolley | 10. Indra Cotton Cushion | 11. Classic No.9 Lime and Coconut Candle | 12. Casey Natural White & Black Hand Loomed Pure Wool Rug

1. Bermuda Lifestyle Bean Bag 
This tribal inspired Bean Bag is the quintessential casual seat in the house. It's best feature - it's a versatile, ultra-comfortable piece of décor that can be used both indoors and outdoors. I absolutely love the cotton piping and the premium leather handle. It's really the details that lift a piece from simple to special!

2. Carly Small Wall Hanging
Who doesn't love a stunning piece of boho-luxe macramé wall art? It's the perfect way to add texture and visual interest to your décor. The hand woven Carly Wall Hanging from Linen House features cotton macramé knot patterns accentuated with pretty wooden beads and extra-long tassels.

3. Hank Brick Lamp with Pink Cable
Unique and unusual in style, the Hank Brick Lamp with a hot pink cable has a strong industrial design bent with a fun and playful element, that looks amazing even when it's not switched on! How stunning would this desk light look in your home office or in a tween's bedroom?

4. Black Grid Mood Board with Suede Mushroom Leather Straps
The handmade Grid Mood Board is the perfect combination of functionality and minimalist style. Display your yearly goals, New Year resolutions, holiday photos, design inspirations and project memos in a very 'Scandi' style. For a unique use...why not use it as a Christmas advent calendar? Just cut out a few printed numbers and clip them on with simple wooden pegs!

5.  Silver Feather Dove Wreath
The most stunning wreath I have ever seen with silvery dove grey feathers! The perfect accessory for your front door to welcome guests on Christmas Day!

6. LA Building Blush Canvas
What is a home without art?! I am floored by the new curated (and created) collection of art pieces by Temple & Webster! This one's called LA Building Blush and the colours in this piece are complementary to any décor and interior design style. For a more defined look add a floating frame to your choice of canvas art. Adds heaps of style and character!

7. Rose Gold Prague Side Table
I absolutely love this luxurious rose gold side table! The rose gold frame and the mirrored rose gold glass table-top screams luxury and has the ability to complement a range of colour schemes and interior styles. A must have this festive season!

8. Paulownia Round Wood Tealight Holder
Made from Paulownia wood & glass, this hand carved piece is completely unique and will add a ton of style to your home! Set it on the sideboard with some pretty tea lights for a lovely inviting ambience or create an unusual centrepiece on your Christmas table with this stunning candle stand and slim tapered dinner candles!

9. Franklin Drinks Trolley
This jaw-droppingly sophisticated Franklin drinks trolley will take your entertaining to a whole new level! After all this is the drinks trolley of all drinks trolleys!!! The Hollywood style Franklin boasts of black marble shelves and sleek polished gold stainless steel that will make a glamorous style statement when you wheel it out this Christmas or at the New Year's party! This is the quintessential addition to your entertaining this festive season!

10. Indra Cotton Cushion
Rows of knots & fringing will help you create a textural haven in your living room or bedroom! Refresh your space with the Indra fringed cushion and see what a difference a little texture makes!

11. Classic No.9 Lime and Coconut Candle
The hand-blended fragrant concoction of sweet citrus of lime mixed with natural coconut will evoke memories of a summery Christmas long after the festive season is over! I love the packaging- a minimalist monochrome design with a custom-etched pure walnut lid. A thoughtful gift for anyone - friends living in Australia or those experiencing a white Christmas overseas! This Australian made soy candle has a 80-100 hours of burn time and each scent features a quote intended to inspire contemplation. How thoughtful and sweet!

12. Casey Natural White & Black Hand Loomed Pure Wool Rug
Handmade by skilled artisans in India on a traditional style loom, the beautiful and eco-friendly Casey soft wool rug in a monochrome colour scheme and stylish pattern will form the perfect canvas to your home décor. A Christmas gift that will look wonderful and last a long long time!

I’m loving my Christmas gift picks! They are all décor enhancing, stylish, unique gift ideas that if someone gave me one or two, I would be one very happy girl! But the best part about this round-up, you can get all these gifts from one single place- Temple & Webster! You can see more fantastic Christmas gift options they have on offer on their online Gift Shop.

And if you want something on this list ...why not share it with your loved ones!

Till next time... get started on on your Christmas shopping now! Go! Go! Go!
xox
Rani

This post was created in collaboration with Temple & Webster. As always, all design choices, gift ideas, 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!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Earthed Fabrics - Inspired By Nature!

Christmas is a mere 50 days away and if you too like to refresh your living spaces, getting ready for the all important festive season before friends and family descend, then read on!

If you're on a budget, then a great way to change the look of a space such as the living room is by simply updating cushion covers on your sofa. Add a textured throw, a few décor accessories and a new plant or two and the space will feel different and 'new'. If your living room is looking too tired for words, then by all means, reupholster a few pieces of furniture like the couch or armchair to update the overall look.

If you choose to reupholster the couch or DIY a new bedhead, add new textured curtains or just change the cushion covers, then look no further than the stunning range of Irish linen from Earthed Fabrics! Established in 2016, Earthed is a contemporary printed Irish linen brand born from 300 years of textile history at William Clark and Sons based in the UK.

With a range of subtle yet meaningful designs, Earthed Fabrics ooze understated elegance. The fabric quality is amazing; stylish with a subtle lustre, textural, sturdy and hard wearing which is perfect if you have small children yet like to maintain a stylish space.
Earthed Fabrics have three beautiful collections - The Upperlands Collection inspired by water, The Sub Surface Collection that features mystic qualities of minerals and the Helix Collection inspired by conic shapes in nature. Each collection is so different yet the patterns like those in nature work wonderfully together.

I've heard a lot about Irish linen and I was very keen to find out more about how this unique fabric is made. Earthed Fabrics are the last large scale commercial beetlers in the world. Beetling is the process of pounding of linen to flatten the fibres giving it a lustrous sheen and making the fabric ideal for strengthening tailored seams.

For my living room décor refresh, I chose fabrics in a complementary colour palette- the Geode in Hematite, the Torrent in Stone and Euhedral in Smoky Quartz. The materials have a beautiful balance of patterns, prints and colours with a subtle lustrous texture.
I love how pretty these cushion covers turned out. The colours are absolutely perfect for this space. My favourite  pattern would have to be the Torrent. It is a playful, swirly, almost a marbled print that would complement any décor style! The gem-like Euhedral print in smoky quartz is equally stunning (featured below). The beauty of Earthed Fabrics is in the organic patterns inspired by nature. They are stylish, durable and perfect for upholstery and soft furnishing projects. For your next upholstery project, have a look at Earthed Fabrics and their unique range of modern printed Irish linen available in multiple colourways and I'm sure you will not be disappointed!

Till next time... get started on refreshing your home before Christmas!

xox
Rani

Thank you to Earthed Fabrics for providing the material for the cushion covers. 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, 8 November 2017

Design Interview with Kelly Hoppen- Where East Meets West!

With over 4 decades of experience in the interior design industry, Kelly Hoppen is one of the most sought after interior designers in the world. She started her creative entrepreneurial venture at the tender age of 16 and quickly turned her passion into an award winning interior design business.

Kelly’s globally renowned style is a subtle combination of East meets West with seamless clean lines, warm neutral tones, blended with opulence and luxury. She has put her stamp on homes, yachts and jets of private clients all over the world and now focuses on commercial projects including resorts, hotels, bars, restaurants, offices, and tower blocks.Recently, Kelly joined hands with Mauritian architect Jean-Francois Adam to reinvent the new LUX* Grand Gaube in Mauritius, into an eclectic retro-chic tropical retreat, launching this December. With an innovative approach to style, this new look 186 room resort and spa set in lush tropical Mauritian gardens, edging two beaches, features 6 innovative restaurants and 5 bars, a luxe-for-less boutique, indoor cinema and sporting events.

Following a $40million AUD renovation, the resort has been cleverly remodelled to greet arriving guests with staggering views of the Indian Ocean, contemporary spaces with generous volumes, precise lines and an unpretentious style. Kelly has dressed the LUX* Grand Gaube in timeless understated glamour, gently layering looks with tactile ceramics, hand-picked accessories, vintage rattan and beautiful soft furnishings. Artistic flair is also on show with French street-artist Jace sharing his famous Gouzou illustrations around the resort and brightly-coloured murals by French artist Camille Walala.

Every sea-view bedroom in this luxury hotel, opens onto peaceful terraces, some with outdoor baths or sundecks edged by soft sand. All eight room categories are fitted with LUX* Sleeptight mattresses, soft linens and pillows, robes and slippers — all designed for the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have. Huge doors treat the living spaces to lots of natural light and generous wardrobe and dressing space that enhance the loft-style feel. Spindrift-white bedrooms feature hand-painted navy-blue lines and unexpected home-away-from-home touches, such as succulents in ceramic pots. Geometric encaustic tiles add graphic-design personality to ensuites, and many bathrooms feature bespoke Victorian bathtubs. The top level accommodation is the signature two-bedroom LUX* Villa, which sleeps a family of four in a beautiful blend of modern styling and classic retro chic.

Apart from being a pioneer in the field of design and a successful entrepreneur, Kelly is also an author and educator. Her motto, "A home should be where you feel joy and happiness. It should feel like your own space, reflective of the spirit, life and loves of the people who live there."

Below is Kelly's interview with La Maison Jolie.

How did you end up getting commissioned to do the LUX Grand Gaube Resort project in Mauritius?

Mauritius is one of my favourite places. This is the second hotel I have done for Lux. I have known Paul Jones from many years and I did the interior for the Lux* Belle Mare. Paul Jones is an incredibly inspiring visionary with hotels and working with him on this project has just been equally amazing. Paul Jones has the ability to incorporate everyone into his bubble, and when you are in this bubble you create the excitement.

The people in Mauritius are everything, they are so inviting and warm and are very encouraged by change. When you go there with new ideas, they’re excited and want to take on that change.Recently while designing the LUX Grand Gaube Resort in Mauritius you were working alongside architect, Jean-Francois Adam. How was the experience?

Because he lives in Mauritius it was amazing and inspiring to work with him on all the different materials, textures and the different lighting. There really is such a great team behind this project, everybody was so excited, it created a wonderful and exciting atmosphere to work in.

How did you envision the end result?

With designing a hotel, there are so many different layers, so many different people involved. When you’re designing a project like a hotel it is really important to recognise that you’re designing something for a lot of people, rather than doing a private home for one individual. Because I travel a lot, I try to think about every single aspect of the hotel, with comfort and ease being the most important. My team are brilliant with this; it’s not just the room, it’s walking to the beach, to the restaurant, the surrounding details, the first moment you arrive or when you get your coffee. Every single detail is extremely important, you immerse yourself into the experience, imagining what every single person is going to feel and more, and that is what is so exciting! The whole Lux* space makes you forget about all your worries, you are in that experience and in that moment.

I simply fell in love with the energy of Grand Gaube. I went there and walked around the site. It reminded me of where I was born, Africa. It was a taste, the smell, the air. That is the beauty of designing something in Mauritius, using the different elements and utilising them. I knew immediately in my head what I was going to do and within seconds I had my palette and I knew this was the road I would take. Do you have a favourite area in the resort?

No, again my design is all about the experience. From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave. There are so many mysteries and exciting things that unfold as you are there. As I design, I try to design imagining how I would be in it, how I would get dressed, how I would sleep, how I would swim, what drink I would want, at what time of the day, what is the light going to do to the textures or fabrics, it’s all about the experience!

How did your design and that of the architect compliment each other?

We both wanted to introduce an innovative approach to the style and hospitality in Mauritius. Jean-Francois Adam wanted to design comfortable tropical living in a contemporary space, whilst preserving the natural setting. His artistic talent and rational mind brings life to his designs. I really wanted to create a feel-good factor and therefore used tactile ceramics, hand-picked accessories, vintage rattan and residential-quality soft furnishings in order to provide an uplifting style and soul to the place, whilst ensuring elements of nature were also incorporated inside. The nature and the incredible vast space was extremely inspiring. Wherever you sit at any angle, it has to be perfect, the ergonomics are just as important as the aesthetics.
Tell us a little about your choice of colour palette. 

My design philosophy has always been to create timeless and understated elegance whilst fusing the eastern principles of simplicity and the western taste for sumptuous textures and luxurious finishes. I always start with my neutral base, and I build on that. However, I do love to complement my calming and neutral shade palette with great accents of colour which can also transform a room.
You have also published several books. Please tell us more about these.

Every time I publish a new book I feel that a new chapter is beginning. I love sharing everything that I know. I stick to what I know and what I am good at and have a very classic way of designing the interior of a home. My books contain simple explanations and talk about every aspect of a room, down to the very last details. People like how in-depth they are and how much time and effort I put into writing them.

You have designed homes, yachts, restaurants and even aircraft. Which is your favorite area of expertise?

I would have to say they are all equally my favourite!
You have come so far since your first design job at the tender age of 16. What is your recipe for success?

The secret to my success is quite simple really; hard work and passion. I love and am proud of what I do, so it’s easy to put all my efforts into it. I work equally hard on every assignment; they’re all so different and unique. When each is finished, I get a sense of immense pride. But I always find time for loved ones; they’re the most important thing. I also value my business, so it’s never far behind. There's a lot to do but I enjoy every bit of it and my family and amazing team’s support makes things a lot easier. I think it’s about putting all that you have into your projects 95% of the time and making sure the other 5% is the most incredible holiday or time out!
What are your decorating tips for 2017/2018?

It is really important to find your style, you have to train yourself. If you’re creative and you love being creative, just feel confident at what you’re doing!
Till next time... check out Kelly's designs at the luxurious Grand Gaube Resort!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Month That Was... October!

And that’s a wrap October! Bring on November! 🌸🌞🙌🏼

It's Movember and we (Shiraz & I) are trying to raise funds for prostate and testicular cancer. Men are facing a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. They're dying too young – much much before their time.

Every dollar donated this month goes towards raising awareness, funds research and helps the families of those affected by this insidious disease. No amount is too less. So let's stop men- our fathers, brothers, husbands, uncles, boyfriends and beloved friends from dying too young.

Click on the link to donate and share to raise awareness: https://au.movember.com/mospace/6680557Till next time... let's Movember on!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Secret To Staging Your Bedroom Like A Professional

Whether you’re buying or selling a house, home staging is now a critical part of the process. It can dramatically increase the chances of a sale, with homes selling faster and for more money than a non-home staged property.

Mattress experts Mattress Online have created this useful infographic to help and inspire you to stage your bedroom like a pro with handy tips to ensure your bedroom  and your home is ready for sale. The Secrets of Home-Staging Your Bedroom Infographic
This checklist is so useful and handy to put your best foot forward when it comes to selling your property. Make sure to pin it or bookmark it for future use.

Till next time... stage smart to sell better!


xox
Rani
INFOGRAPHIC BY MATTRESS ONLINE

Monday, 30 October 2017

Take Your Business to the Next Level with a Serviced Office!

Often, having an impressive address is the difference between success and failure. For businesses, location really can mean everything. So, it’s naturally frustrating to be a small company, with a limited budget. You might feel cut off from certain neighbourhoods and addresses, particularly in a big city like Brisbane where office rates are high.

Young and small businesses need to find a way to compete with bigger rivals. The good news is that serviced facilities are committed to providing affordable, flexible workspaces. With a premium serviced office in Brisbane, small businesses get to benefit from an unique arrangement.

This guide to the benefits of serviced office solutions will explain why they are a great option for smaller businesses on a budget.

The One Payment System
The defining feature of serviced offices is their all-inclusive nature. This is what makes them so affordable. While quoted rates are similar to conventional leases, there is one important difference. In this case, the rental rate includes all of the basic utilities like heating, lighting, cleaning, security, air conditioning, general maintenance, and (in many cases) high-speed broadband. These are core utilities and central to the serviced package. Depending on your choice of vendor, there may be a long list of additional extras.

Keeping It Simple
It means serviced tenants end up making substantial savings. The cost of overheads is much higher when paying individual companies for all of these resources. It’s also just a simpler way to operate. There is one payment each month, and it covers everything your business needs.

In most cases, there’s a basic package, and this includes the aforementioned utilities. Surplus tools, equipment, and resources are easily added (or removed) from this monthly fee. It is a changeable, editable arrangement and you are in full control of how much you pay.

Freedom and Flexibility
Aside from making overheads manageable, serviced providers help small businesses afford top locations by giving them flexibility. These unique vendors understand that market conditions can change fast. Having the ability to adapt is a big part of being successful.

Tenants are never locked into a contract. It rolls over until a change in circumstances is required. You retain the right to up or downgrade when needed, often within the same building if the vendor has an appropriate vacancy. So, you’ll never get caught by an unsuitable lease.

No Delays or Downtime
Many of the serviced facilities in Brisbane CBD are available on a fully furnished basis. The suites come ‘ready to go,’ complete with impeccably decorated interiors and beautiful furniture. It’s another costly responsibility that tenants don’t have to deal with if they choose this option.

Think about what happens if something in your serviced office breaks down or develops a fault. Instead of having to replace it with your own money, you just report it to the onsite staff. It doesn’t ‘belong’ to you. The use and enjoyment, but not the responsibility, is yours to handle.

Finding an Affordable Office in Brisbane
There are some truly superb serviced vendors in central Brisbane. However, it’s still important to pick carefully and evaluate the resources properly. For one thing, you need to be sure all networking activities are fully supported. Ask questions about the speed of the broadband.

If possible, arrange to take a guided tour of a facility before you sign an agreement. This is a great opportunity to speak with current tenants and get an honest depiction of what life is like there. Ask the vendor to confirm that your contract will be fully flexible and negotiable.

Till next time... take your business to the next level!

xox
Rani

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Block: The Power of Curb Appeal!

When it comes to selling houses, the power of curb appeal should not be underestimated. The front facade of a house is the first thing anyone sees when walking up to the house. And first impressions do count. As someone close to me once said...the first impression is not the last impression, but it sure as hell is the lasting impression! And I wholeheartedly believe in this!

Today, I wanted to showcase the front facades of the five different period houses from this year's Block. The front garden reveals of the five freshly renovated period homes took place last Sunday and I'm sure everyone in Australia was glued to their television screens to see the final reveals of the five 'once upon a time dilapidated homes that were destined to be knocked down'! Now, they have a new lease of life for the next 100 years or so and each one looks stunning! Kudos to all five teams on a job well done!
House 1: Jason & Sarah
First up... Jason & Sarah's heritage facade with those gorgeous windows and that stunning black door.  I absolutely love the rounded garden edges, the sunken birch and their choice of outdoor lights!
House 2: Hannah & Clint
Reno rookies Hannah and Clint did a fantastic job on their house. That sweet blush pink front door with the little veranda and a dark porch contrasts beautifully with the soft grey exterior. It's such a pretty house that is sure to steal a few hearts come auction time. Not fan of that old fashioned porch light though!

House 3: Ronnie & Georgia
This couple are not new to renovation or its challenges. Through this entire season, their statement design choices and ideas have been controversial yet spot on! Many have mentioned that they think Ronnie and Georgia's house facade is too dark, but in my opinion, in a sea of light coloured houses, this house truly stands out. The dark facade is sexy, sophisticated and glamorous, the window details are very en pointe and the black and white geometric tiles that form a bridge between the white picket fence and the dark facade are nothing short of spectacular! And they are the only house with that cute little attic window!

House 4: Sticks & Wombat
I cannot believe that a couple of blokey blokes renovated this entire home and styled it to perfection! The front of the house is soft and minimalist giving buyers a taste of what's to come inside. Although I'm not a huge fan of the raw timber pillars, I can see where the boys were going with their front garden design. And the best thing about this garden.... it's absolutely low maintenance! Now who doesn't love that?! And I have to mention that gorgeous front door! I love the details on it.

House 5: Josh & Elyse
The youngest couple on this year's block, have time and again showcased their impeccable and unique style in the interiors and also in their backyard. However, their front facade was one of my least favourites. I'm not a fan of the combination of the ugly pillars, the white picket fence and the beige exterior paint. The cute and fun crazy pavers was probably the only thing that stood out for me.

So, the big question is, which one's your favourite?

The Block auction is on this Sunday so make sure you tune in to see the nail biting finish of this year's Block. I cannot wait to see the results!

Till next time... good luck Blockheads!

xox
Rani

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Three Budget Outdoor DIY Projects To Do Before Christmas

Christmas is just 9 weeks away...9 short weeks! Where has the tine gone eh? In Australia, Christmas is celebrated smack bang in the middle of summer. And summer in Australia means spending more time outside thanks to fantastic warm weather, daylight savings, backyard barbecues, alfresco entertaining and family gatherings. So why not give yourself a present this Christmas with a couple of DIY projects that is cost effective and adds dimension, and functionality to your outdoor space. (And you don't need to wait till Christmas Day to enjoy it!)

Today, Jason Hodges, landscape expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, shares three super easy DIY functional projects under $3,000 that you can do in time for the festive season. “There are lots of great and simple projects that can be done in the backyard that will compliment the home and spruce up the outdoors, ready for summer. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved and enjoy our beautiful climate,” says landscape expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, Jason Hodges.

The Outdoor Shower
Embrace nature and create a tranquil space in your backyard with an outdoor shower. For those who don’t have the space for a pool, an outdoor shower is a great alternative to cooling off during those scorching Aussie heatwaves. It is important to consider the plumbing points, screening for privacy and a sustainable water management system. Opt for Adbri’s Ecotrihex Permeable Pavers that are specially designed to allow water to permeate through the surface into the layers below where water can be harvested or redirected. Surface water runoff is minimised and the need for additional surface drainage is reduced.
BBQ Grilling Station
The Aussie love affair with the great outdoors means we can create an outdoor kitchen and grilling station that is both enjoyable and practical. Creating the perfect base for a BBQ bench top is made easy with Adbri’s AB Courtyard Blocks. They provide a genuine DIY solution to creating functional, individualised outdoor kitchens for any backyard. “The beauty of these blocks is that they don’t require glue or mortar to keep them in place, which means you aren’t stuck to one location. If you want to move your BBQ in the future, you can easily do so.” says Jason Hodges.
Built-in Furniture
Extend your entertaining possibilities and invest in built-in furniture that will add structure, dimension and aesthetics to the backyard while maximising your space and allowing you to comfortably entertain more people this summer. You can easily construct custom, freestanding walls that double as seats using the Adbri AB Courtyard Blocks. The DIY walling system allows you to build directly atop of existing paved or flat concrete surfaces. The great thing about using the AB Courtyard Blocks is that they can withstand harsh weather conditions, ensuring longevity and functionality.
These are three backyard projects will be a gift that you can continue to enjoy for years to come. So get a jump on them and get your backyard summer ready for that amazing Christmas lunch with friends and family!

Till next time... get your DIY game face on!

xox
Rani

About Adbri Masonry
Adbri Masonry is Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer supplying quality concrete bricks, blocks, pavers, retaining walls, erosion control products, architectural masonry solutions and reconstituted stone veneers throughout Australia’s East Coast, South Australia and Tasmania.

About Adbri Ambassador Jason Hodges
Jason Hodges is Australia’s well-loved celebrity landscaper, most notably seen on the Channel Seven lifestyle TV show Better Homes & Gardens. Jason is also a brand ambassador for Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer, Adbri Masonry. Jason is a four-time Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) Gold medallist.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

8 Beautiful Hotel Bathrooms To Inspire You!

Are you looking to freshen up your bathroom? Are you planning a total redesign? To inspire you, today's guest contributor Carmela has rounded up 8 stunning hotel and home-rental bathrooms from around the world, focusing on tiling, this year’s colour trends, and different style bathtubs and finishes. From the perfect way to use grout tiling, through to deep set-floor-tubs, here are our top 8 picks.

Dark Grout Tiles
Dark and contrasting grout tiling is one of this year’s hottest trends. White tiles, with black or charcoal grout, have been appearing all over Instagram, Pinterest and in the trendiest bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for the perfect grout-tile-inspiration, look no further than the Ludlow Hotel in New York. The bathrooms in the hotel feature beautifully grout-tiled walls alongside white bathroom features that have slim gold trimmings. One of the great things about dark grout is that you can get away with cleaning your bathroom less often, as dirt is not as noticeable. So why not embrace your “inner lazy self”, and embrace the trend?

Rough Stone
The bathrooms at the Gora Kadan Hotel in Hakone, Japan, are full of inspiration for simple bathroom designs that create a lot of Zen. One of the bathrooms in the hotel features a stunning, open-air bath tub that is made from rough, dark gray stone. Why not renovate your bathroom at home with a lick of fresh white paint and faux rough stone touches to create a spa like experience. Keep the accessories simple -- less is more. 

Deep Floor Tub
Have you considered fitting in a deep-soak-tub in your bathroom? Take your inspiration from ‘I Love Amsterdam Suite’ in Amsterdam’s Conservatorium hotel. The hotel is a 19th-century building, and the bathroom comes complete with original dark wooden beams, slanted ceilings and light sandstone-colored walls and floor. The center-piece of the bathroom is a stunning deep soak tub that is set into the floor. 

The Color Brown Is ‘In’
Most people would turn their back on the idea of a ‘brown bathroom’, but we’ve found something that might change your mind. The VIK Millahue hotel in Chile showcases the successful use of the colour brown in a bathroom. The hotel, which is set in a vineyard, features an incredible brown bathroom, with a 6ft beech-wood bath tub that’s shaped like a canoe. The bath has been attached to both sides of the bathroom and hovers above the floor. It’s been paired with musky-brown tiled walls and dark-brown finishes. Who would have thought a brown bathroom could look so enticing? 

Round Tubs
Round bathtubs are always a good choice as they make a bathroom look gentle and welcoming. The bathrooms at the Ponta dos Ganchos resort in Brazil feature stunning round tubs, in which you could spend hours unwinding. The tranquil bathtub is paired with paneled walls and flooring. It features an incredible floor to ceiling window, with views of the ocean. 

Marble Work
Adding a touch of marble to your bathroom is the perfect way to make it look glamorous, modern and sleek. Some of the bathrooms at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas feature chic, black marble walls and cream marble counters. Meanwhile, the hotel’s other bathrooms feature floor to ceiling white marble. 

Freestanding Tubs
Freestanding tubs always look amazing in bathrooms and they are a great way to make a big change, without having to redo the whole bathroom. Why not consider a vintage, freestanding tub like the bath in this Scottish castle? Some of the property’s bathrooms feature free-standing tubs, with beautifully painted designs on the outer edges. Meanwhile, the property’s other bathrooms also offer up their own source of inspiration. They feature original, Edwardian features, with rough stone walls and baths surrounded by rough brick work.

How To Use Pink
Pink bathrooms are a hot trend for 2017/18. The bathrooms in the Henrietta Hotel in London are the perfect example of how to use pink in a fresh, modern way. The bathrooms feature an art deco design, with simple light-pink tiling, painted walls and features. In the world of interior design, pink and green is known as one of the hottest color combinations, so why not add some light pink touches to your white bathroom, and combine it with tons of gorgeous, green indoor houseplants? 

So there you have it, 8 beautiful hotel bathrooms to inspire you. That 'levitating' wooden canoe tub is stunning or can you imagine yourself soaking in a beautiful round bathtub! Which one is your favourite? 

Till next time... is it time to start planning your bathroom reno?


About the Author
Carmela Rodriguez is a journalist from London who swapped the rainy UK for the sunshine in Medellin, Colombia. She is currently a content writer for travel start-up AllTheRooms.
async defer data-pin-hover="true" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-round="true" data-pin-save="false" src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js">