Saturday, 23 September 2017

Redecorating Your Apartment On A Shoestring Budget!

Decorating or redecorating on a budget is never easy but it isn't impossible. There are many things that you could do to infuse style and personality into your apartment within set funds and stretch those dollars to buy the things that your really want.

Today, I've broken down the 'redecorating process' into three important parts - all you need is a bit of clutter removal, a little up-cycling or recycling and some smart shopping to create a whole new stylish apartment on a shoestring budget!

Step 1: Clearing Clutter
When it comes to decorating on a budget, clearing clutter is an effective tool to start with. However, it can be a little overwhelming to know where to begin. My tip, start with the floor. It is the largest surface and once that is clear of all unnecessary items, it will make a huge difference to the look and feel of your home. Once the floor is clear, move upwards to flat surfaces like tables, sideboards, vanity counters, kitchen benchtops and then to storage cabinets and cupboards. Flat surfaces are often clutter catchers and can be difficult to declutter, so start with just one room at a time to keep yourself motivated.

Once all rooms are free of unnecessary items, sort through it. Sell any old furniture, unused homewares and accessories and drop off used clothes and other furniture at a local op shop. In case you've missed the council's hard rubbish collection dates and find it difficult to dispose off broken items and rubbish overflow, it is a good idea to call a rubbish removal company. In case you have any old renovation material and building waste cluttering up your garage and shed, rubbish removal companies can dispose of that as well.

Clutter removal helps in creating a blank canvas to refresh and decorate and the process can be cathartic and detoxing not only for your home but also for yourself.

Step 2: Luxury Upcycling
In recent years, in the world of interiors, luxury upcycling is definitely having a moment. With trends constantly circling back, upcycling is a great way to get creative, keep abreast of the latest interior design trends and decorate on a tight budget. However, luxury recycling or rather upcycling does not mean slapping on some paint on broken items, fixing them and reusing them. Rather, reimagine and upgrade items such as reupholstering old yet useful furniture with luxe details and furnishings like velvet or linen, adding value to them and giving them a new and stylish lease of life.

Changing our mindsets from the usual out with the old and in with the new can have positive effects on our home and lifestyle. And apart from reducing waste, using less and reusing more can have a favourable effect on our wallets as well.

Step 3: Smart Shopping
Smart shopping is not about purchasing the cheapest option available, but buying the best option to make the most of your space and also add heaps of timeless style in the process. When buying furniture for a small space, consider space-efficient, multi-functional pieces that add value to your interior design, home décor and lifestyle.

My tip, is to invest in furniture pieces, often the biggest ones in a room, that you love since you will be living with them for a long time rather than cheap ones that you will need to replace often. For example, when redecorating your living room, invest in a good quality, comfortable and stylish sofa and decorate the rest of the room on a budget. Just remember to mix and match quality pieces with less expensive finds to create an eclectic and unforgettable space. In the bedroom, apart from your bed, invest in good quality bed linen, again the rest of the accessories and furniture can be bought on a budget. Never underestimate the power of beautiful and quality bed linen! 

To help stick to a set budget, consider creating a design inspiration board, researching prices and sales, making a shopping list and overall shopping smart!

Refreshing or redecorating your apartment on a budget can be challenging but also a lot of fun. There are affordable ways to dress up a small space and take your apartment from drab to fab on a budget! The decluttering process will help you sort through what you own, things you need and items that you can let go of. Just a tip, designing and styling a space or home takes time, so don't rush out to buy everything at once.
So what do you think? What money-saving decorating tips have worked for you? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... start with the decluttering!

This post has been written in collaboration with Mr Cheap Rubbish Removal. As always all thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love or think could benefit my readers.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

House Envy: The House Built with Love!

This is a special post in our House Envy series. I can't really call it House Envy, though this home is extra special, absolutely stunning, exceptionally styled and it will be the envy of everyone who reads this blog post! But let's differ on this one and call it House Envy Love!

To mark International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in 2017, Children’s Cancer Institute, McDonald Jones Homes and Walker Corporation have joined forces to undertake an extraordinary challenge of building a house in just 28 days! This is such a wonderful way to raise vital funds that will go towards raising awareness for Childhood Cancer and also finding ways to beat the disease that has touched the lives of so many.
Work on building the house began on Monday 21 August, 2017 in the picturesque town of Appin, Walker’s newest community in Greater Western Sydney. The Appin community have been hugely enthusiastic in coming together to support Build for a Cure, including families touched by childhood cancer.

Not only has this fully-furnished, luxury four bedroom home been donated, but selfless volunteers have come together to donate their time and skill to build it. Every partner, every tradie and all materials have been sourced free of charge. The build has been organised by McDonald Jones Homes and the real estate services are being donated by Di Mez Real Estate and The Block celebrity auctioneer Damien Cooley. The four bedroom house has been fully furnished for free by Winning Appliances, Fisher & Paykel and Freedom. 

"This is my third Build for a Cure, it is always the highlight of my year, it gives me an opportunity to use my creativity and design skills to help towards saving lives and for that I feel honoured and humble", says Jill Clements, Senior Interior Decorator from Freedom. "The style we've used has a relaxed but luxurious contemporary feel. We've introduced some of this seasons colours and textures which include rich greens, navy and burnished brass. We've layered velvets and linens, alongside some interesting more raw textures. Our overall design caters for a family and everyday comfort."

17th September was the big reveal supported by Children’s Cancer Institute campaign ambassador -The Block's Scott Cam on the fun family day. I'm so excited to share photos of the stunning reveal of the Build for a Cure home with you all, so let's take a walk through this gorgeous home that has been an absolute labour... a labour of love!


Every aspect of this four bedroom luxury family home has been designed and styled to perfection with meticulous attention to detail. 

"In terms of design we have incorporated a mix of themes to create an eclectic style- a combination of mid-century modern and industrial chic. We've taken inspiration from designers such as Arne Jacobson for the simple yet elegant and functional elements, Charles and Ray Eames modern and abstract flair is reflected in the choice of flooring." says Jennie Princehorn from MyChoice Design Studio. "The colour palette has been drawn out of the trends which we are exposed to today, simple tones with bold and edgy accents and the shower screens, tapware and accessories are an example of this using matt black fittings and fixtures to express this emotion."
The House Built with Love will be auctioned off by The Block celebrity auctioneer Damien Cooley on 22 October. The fully furnished four-bedroom home is anticipated to fetch $680,000-plus from the auction with all proceeds from the sale going directly to Children’s Cancer Institute’s vital research. 
To find out a little about Children’s Cancer Institute and the fantastic work they do, you can watch this video: Declan’s Story. (Warning: You might need an extra large box of tissues. I did.)

Till next time... together we will cure childhood cancer. It’s not if, it’s when.  

xox
Rani

A huge thank you to Eva Martin from Children’s Cancer Institute for organising exclusive photos and interview quotes for La Maison Jolie.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

4 Simple Maintenance Tasks To Keep Your Home Looking Like New

Many issues come in the way of keeping your home new and maintained. These problems may be associated with the kitchen, bathrooms, electricity or general issues that crop up now and then. However, ignoring them can only make them worse, so it is always advisable to treat them on time so that your home is problem free, clean and looks newer for longer.

There are certain tasks which must be carried out daily to maintain household items while others need maintenance quarterly or bi-annually. Our guest contributor, Emily has listed out 4 maintenance checks that will help ensure your home is well maintained and looks newer for longer.

Kitchen issues
Kitchen sink disposals is one of the major problems in maintaining the kitchen. Clogs and slow draining situations are most common. To avoid these problems, some home remedies can be followed which includes the disposal of the combination of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar into the sink. It will also keep your kitchen odour free. Sink disposal can also be maintained by grinding pieces of lemon and ice cubes. Other issues in the kitchen including cleaning the splashback and exhaust vents, maintaining kitchen cabinet doors and also cleaning tile grout as required.

Unused bathrooms
There are some places in the house which are not frequently used such as the guest room bathroom. The washrooms specifically require more attention. You should run the taps, turn on the shower and flush the toilet on a regular basis to keep the guest bath well maintained. Also giving the shower and bathroom tiles a good clean once in a while is important to keep it looking fresh and new.

Inspect your fire extinguisher and fire alarms
Fire extinguishers must be installed in every home to protect it from fire accidents and emergencies. There are different types of fire extinguishers, but the ones which can be used at home are water, foam, Carbon dioxide, wet chemical, fire blanket and dry powder. These extinguishers are used on a wider range of fires in the home. They are appropriate for putting out fires related to carpet and soft furnishings, woods, flammable liquids, petrol and spirits. These extinguishers are safe to use on textiles, gases and electrical fires. Keep the fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in a handy cupboard, cabinet or in the kitchen for easy access. Also remember to check all fire alarms in your home and change and replace batteries as and when required.

General maintenance
There are certain household issues which need also proper attention. These include replacement or repair of broken windows, clearing dead plants and shrubs and cleaning the gutter. Other than inspection of annual roof damage and leakage inspections, getting air conditioners serviced and ready for summer, checking exterior drainage systems, testing the water heater’s pressure, carpet cleaning, replacing light bulbs are all general maintenance issues that must be conducted on a regular basis. Along with that vacuuming of refrigerator coils and cleaning of faucet aerators are also important maintenance tasks.

So there you have it, a handy list of the general maintenance checks that need to be conducted to keep your home looking well-kept and new for longer!

Till next time... don't put off conducting those maintenance tasks around your home any longer!

About the Author
Emily is obsessed with home machinery and gadgets. She loves home decor as well and enjoys the sunset. She regularly posts at http://www.protoolguide.com.

Monday, 18 September 2017

House Envy: A Play of Patterns At Kirra Jamison's!

Today we are wandering through the colourful home of artist Kirra Jamison and it is house envy at first sight! 

Kirra Jamison is an Australian artist born in Sydney, who grew up in Byron Bay and is currently Melbourne based. Her beautiful home is a smorgasbord of geometric patterns, giant art prints and splashes of colour. And even though I'm not big on colourful patterns, every room makes me smile! Kirra's home is eclectic, playful and whimsical with heaps of personality oozing from every nook and cranny! Come along and have a look...
I simply adore the combination of various prints, textiles, colours and interesting layers in this stunning home and that swing in the bedroom... LOVE! And it doesn't end there, Kirra's art print in the dining room from her Love Me Two Times series, the stunning dining table, fun yet functional open shelving in the kitchen and her light filled studio, all have her creative touch and artful eye! And just throwing this into the house envy mix... Kirra's home has been styled by none other than Jason Grant! What! How fantastic is that!

Till next time... do you have a serious case of house envy too?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Creating Art With Murals Wallpaper

Marble is a trend with absolutely no signs of stopping! And why not...it's a versatile stone that looks good adapted in any shape or form... be it a kitchen benchtop, coasters, bathroom tiles, printed on cushions or bed linen, adorning walls as artwork or wallpaper or on our bodies as fashion or jewellery! Marble is classic, elegant and timeless and a style that will always be in vogue. However, the key to designing with this texture rich element lies in it's subtle use. In previous posts, we've discussed ways to incorporate marble into your home décor. Art is just one of them. There are millions of different marble prints and posters available in the market however I wanted something that was slightly more textured. When wallpapering a room, we all order a little extra and usually have a bit or sometimes even a roll left over.
In the interest of creating an unique piece of artwork and also upcycling rolls that you would either exile to the basement storage room or garbage bin, I wanted to showcase what you could do with leftover pieces of wallpaper to create an on trend artwork for your home. 
I chose the textured white marble wallpaper from Murals Wallpaper in heavyweight deluxe paper option. The texture of this wallpaper is amazing and it looks very real! You have got feel it to understand and appreciate the quality of this wallpaper. As art it looks striking and unique and you can only imagine how luxe and glamorous it would look as a feature wall!

To create your very own piece of marble art, you will need leftover white textured marble wallpaper, tape measure, sharp scissors and a frame.
Step 1: Measure and cut your leftover wallpaper
Step 2: Frame it
Step 3: Hang it up in designated spot and enjoy your new art!
Apart from just creating artwork for the bedroom, you also use leftover snippets of wallpaper to create stylish book jackets which are always handy when styling photoshoots or bookshelves, wallpaper the insides of cupboards to create a feature, stick on pantry shelves or inside drawers to create a stylish look or use to decoupage buffets or sideboards to create unique pieces of furniture. Literally whatever takes your fancy!
I'm very pleased with my marble wall art. It looks eclectic and elegant in the bedroom as it does in the dining room as it would in any room of our home. Check out the vast range of designs and styles of wallpapers available from Murals Wallpaper.

Till next time... if you have leftover wallpaper, you know what to do!

This post was created in collaboration with Murals Wallpapers. As always, all design choices, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

House Envy: A Farmhouse To Dream About!

Designed by the talented Jennifer Bunsa, the Hudson House is one of my all time favourites. Her meticulous attention to detail and punchy design elements make it a visual and tactile feast for the senses. The fun wallpaper to the coordinated bedding, the tiles in the bathroom and the kitchen to the exposed rustic beams in the ceiling and the industrial pendant lights makes this farmhouse an interior addicts 'fix'! 

There is so much to love in this house, but the kitchen and the sunroom in particular have to be my favourite rooms. So come with me on a walk through this beautiful Morocco meets industrial farmhouse and see if you too get a serious case of house envy!
So do you have house envy too? I know I do!

Till next time... I soooooo want to live here! Don't you?
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