Saturday 28 January 2017

Fluorescent Lights vs Oyster Lights

Choosing the right type of lights is an important step in interior design and something that requires careful consideration. You should weigh up several options from different companies before making your final purchase.

One type of light that you should consider is fluorescent lights. These lights have many advantages are extremely common. Other lights to consider include oyster lights, which are also extremely popular with homeowners.

Read this helpful guide which compares and contrasts oyster lights with fluorescent lights to make up your mind on what you want to buy.

One of the main advantages of oyster lights is their cost. They are extremely good value for money and they can be replaced cheaply as well. This value is because they are small and they can be installed easily. They don’t use a lot of electricity. This is an important consideration for those who might be on a tight budget.

Fluorescent lights tend to be more expensive than the oyster lights because they are bigger and use more electricity. Weigh up the cost of each light before deciding what you are going to buy. Buy fluorescent lights in Sydney from Carlton Lights because they will make any room brightly-lit.

The purpose that the lights are intended for will influence whether you would like to buy oyster lights or install fluorescent lights. Because oyster lights emit a soft beam, they are ideal for creating a cosy atmosphere in the living room or creating a sense of romance in the bedroom.

Fluorescent lights are very powerful, which makes them a practical choice. These lights are often installed in sheds and garages so that one can find their tools easily when they need to do an important job.

The fluorescent lights make ideal security lights because they are so bright. The lights can be installed in the back yard and be set to a timer so that they turn on automatically when it gets dark. The power of the lights can be a deterrent for anyone trying to break into the house.

If elderly people are tripping and falling outside the house, then one of the main reasons could be that they don't have adequate lighting around steps and other hazards. Choose powerful fluorescent lights that can illuminate the outside of the house to make it completely safe.

Eco-friendliness and efficiency are becoming very important. Oyster lights run on a low level of electricity, so they will not contribute towards astronomical electricity bills at the end of the month.

Fluorescent lights require more electricity than the oyster lights, which explains why they are so much brighter. You should always remember to turn off their lights once you have finished using them.

Till next time...use this guide to choose between oyster and fluorescent lights.
This post is sponsored by Carlton Lighting. They are a family owned business with a huge range of lights and accessories to suit residential, trade and commercial customers, with a focus on quality at affordable prices.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Top 5 Ways to Incorporate Marble in Your Home Décor

Fashions fade, but style is eternal
- Yves Saint Laurent

Marble is an impressive and versatile stone whose classical look and timeless feel will never go out of style. It is an expensive yet hard wearing, durable stone making it a great choice for interior designers to work with. A lot has been written about the resurgence of marble and The Marble Effect! Once historically used primarily in architecture, marble has been making a modern comeback and as interior design experts predict will only gain more momentum in 2017. 

However, OTT use of marble can be overkill and make a room feel austere instead of grand. The key is not to go all out and overboard but create a subtle yet standout feature. Use marble for either walls or floors, statement furniture pieces or key accent features. Our guest contributor, Julie shares her top five ways you can incorporate marble in your interior design without overwhelming your décor.

Gone are the days when marble in home décor was limited to just kitchens and bathrooms! Over the recent years, the trend of incorporating marble into living rooms and bedrooms has been made immensely popular by interior design experts world over. 

A home décor with marble gives a room an elegant yet contemporary look and makes it feel opulent and spacious. But how and where should marble be incorporated? This can get tricky and over the top use of marble can make a room look tacky and gaudy.

Before you proceed with introducing marble in your interior design; check out these five inspiring and smart ways to make your home look aesthetically appealing and visually interesting.

Probably the most convenient way that one can think of to introduce marble is through flooring. The trend of marble flooring has never gone out of style and are available in almost all the colours you can imagine.

There has been new developments in the marble industry, so, if you are interested in changing the flooring of your home; research and choose the stone as per the room you are interested to decorate as not all marbles are suitable for every room.

Couple of years ago, black and white chequered marble flooring was introduced in kitchens and bathrooms to create a striking look. The next big trend for 2017 is marble inlaid in wooden flooring for a gorgeous finish to any room.

Without a doubt marbles tiles are a great choice when it comes to decorating a bathroom or kitchen. Though they can be hard to clean and require constant maintenance, the beauty and timeless style they add to your home décor is worth it. Also, white marble can make a small room look and feel more spacious!

Yet another beautiful trend to follow this year is to purchase marble furniture for your living room or bedroom. There’s more to marble than just flooring and tiles. To make a bold statement, choose a coffee table in coloured marble and furnish the rest of the room in a neutral colour palette and layer with soft furnishings to create a sophisticated design.

Marble pendant lights are creating waves in the world of interior design. Marble's unique beauty makes these lights a statement feature in any design. Neo-classical marble lamps are also extremely complementary to a room décor. 

Lastly, if you are looking to accessorise with marble; you can easily include this versatile stone in the form of beautiful candle holders, jewellery dishes, marble trays or cheese boards. 

Unlike fashion fads and fickle design trends, marble is definitely a timeless style statement to include in your home in 2017 for a touch of sophisticated high end luxury. So how would you incorporate this beautiful stone in your décor? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time...add a little marble to your interior design!


About the Author
Julie Austin loves traveling, home decorating and hanging out with her friends. She regularly blogs at My Bedcomforter.

Monday 23 January 2017

A DIY Painter's Dream Product - CANSEALID!

Do you constantly face the challenge of prying open a stuck paint can lid or have you ever had to throw away paint because it dried up sitting in a hot garage? I have a few dozen paint cans in my garage leftover from different projects and it is quite frustrating to jimmy open up a lid only to find that the paint has dried into a gluggy mess.
But here's an invention that could not only save the paint but also in the process a whole lot of money that you would normally spend to buy more paint - CANSEALID!
When I was invited by Cansealid to try out their paint can lids, I was skeptical about it. It sounded too good to be true. However upon trying it, it's easy to see why it's so popular in the rest of the world. And finally it is available in Australia!

If you have been following this blog, you would have read how I recently painted a feature wall in our master bedroom. I used cansealid when I stored a half a can of leftover grey paint in the garage. When I decided to paint the bedroom wall, I took out the can praying that like many others I wouldn't have to bin this one too. I opened up the lid (so easy to open!) and lo and behold, the paint was as fresh as the day I bought it. What a relief!
Cansealid is so easy to use. 
Step 1. Put the lid on the can
Step 2. Lift the lip of the lid to release excess air
Step 3. Press down to create the seal and it's ready for storage!
The durable silicone cap keeps leftover paint fresh and prevents it from drying. It's easy to seal and store by stacking cans one on top of another to keep your work room or garage tidy. It's also very easy to reopen and reuse these lids.
If you get paint on the inside of the lid, fear not because it wipes off easily with a kitchen towel, a wet wipe or you could simply wash it off.

My verdict - In the world of DIY painting cansealid is a necessity!
Till next time...get your very own cansealid here!


This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Cansealid. 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.

Monday 16 January 2017

RhubarbLondon - Distinctive Designs for Bespoke Interiors

Last year I came across RhubarbLondon, a British brand creating unique and eclectic furniture that are statement designs. These custom made armchairs have huge commanding presence and vintage narratives sewn into the upholstery of archived and original furniture pieces. They are not just furniture but each a work of art and labour of love.

The creative genius behind the brand is it's founder, Shaun Brownell. Originally an aeronautical engineer, he now designs, restores and recreates rare antique furniture with distinctive upholstery, sourced from completely authentic archives. Each piece of furniture is dressed in a dapper country jacket or an original vintage military uniform and has its own unique history.

I am a believer of redesigning and recycling, however Shaun takes his creativity to a whole new level! I caught up with Shaun to find out the story behind RhubarbLondon, his inspirations behind his eclectic designs and his future plans. What I found is a unique heartwarming sentiment, a quirky style and bold and bespoke designs!
Can you share with us your creative journey to where you are now?

Back in 2014 my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness so I decided to step out of the rat race and dedicate my time to caring for her. To assist with her care I had the help of a local hospice and discovered that when they are bequeathed vintage furniture from families they had to pay someone to destroy it as they were not fire compliant. So I decided to make a donation to the charity for each piece of furniture I took and I created these unique pieces of furniture from there. Why have grandpa's old military uniform of which he was so proud hanging in the wardrobe, hidden away gathering dust when it can grace a piece of furniture.
What has been the inspiration behind Rhubarb London and your bespoke designs?

We live in such a throw away society, nobody has the time to stop and think outside the box and realise what they can re-create or reinvent with such little ease. 

How would you define your style and how has it evolved over the years?

RhubarbLondon's furniture style is unique, eclectic and quirky. We always try to retain traditional upholstery skills consistently with the production of every piece.

Do you have a favourite collection or design?

Personally I love the Dapper Tweed as it involved so many traditional craftsman and evolved into this beautiful and unique piece of furniture.

What is a typical workday like for you?

No two days are the same for me, every day is another interesting and fascinating journey and I love every minute of it, from sourcing vintage fabric to designing new pieces, I never tire of it. 

Can you describe the design process?

Normally, I have the vision of the finished piece in my head so I then go about how to create the piece using the best form. 

It is very important that the chair suits the fabric. As a general rule, the more masculine the chair, more it suits our Vintage Military Uniform style. 

The finished piece must be surreal and chair has to have presence and form.

What are you working on at the moment?

Wow what a question! I am working on several pieces at the moment, not to give too much away at this stage but my latest piece is going to be a Vintage American Ceremonial Uniform chair. It is very elaborate and covered in regalia, it will be quite a piece when finished.

I am also working on several other projects: Houses of Parliament Speakers chair, and a very special child’s chair which you will have to wait to see.
What according to you is the next big thing in furniture design?

Upcycled furniture is and always will be the next thing as people are at last realising that our valuable natural resources are and will run out during their lifetime so now is the time to make a difference and besides most of our old family furniture has many years of fond memories attached to it.

What advice can you give those seeking a career in furniture design?

The most important advice I would give is to try and keep your own style, never copy and always try and think outside the box, bring your own personality out on the piece you are working on and it will just materialise in front of you.

What 3 words describe your brand? 

Traditional, eclectic, individual and quirky to name but a few. 

Can you share 3 things people don’t know about you?

Other than being a bit crazy I'm just a normal guy but if I had to confess I'm hopeless at cooking, cannot draw and cannot abide inconsiderate drivers!

Which is your favourite room in your home and why?

At the moment I am sitting in my favourite room. A garden office writing this and watching the wind and rain, in complete silence with my dog.
Sheer bliss!

Where do you see Rhubarb London in five years time?

As you know we have numerous bespoke commissioned pieces all around the world but I would like to see more in the far east so maybe, who knows, watch this space!

What's your favourite inspirational quote?

Say yes before the question and then worry about the answer afterwards.

Proudly handcrafted in Britain, every one of these vintage armchairs are exclusive and embodies a distinctive and distinguished history. As with all of RhubarbLondon’s designs, the crowning glory lies in the detailing - the original epaulettes, labels, buttons, the delicate piping that edges the chair’s seat and armrests are expertly cut and intricately hand-stitched.

Shaun's designs are raising the bar with fresh, eclectic and creative ideas and transforming throwaway vintage furniture and giving it a glamorous new lease of life.

Till next time...get your very own distinctive piece of RhubarbLondon furniture here!


Saturday 14 January 2017

How To Landscape A Small Garden

For most of us who live in apartments, townhouses and units in the inner city and suburbs close to the city, don't always have the luxury of a big garden space. A typical urban garden is usually small in size and enclosed by walls, hedges, fences or simply some plants. However with a little creativity, smart designing and astute landscaping, small gardens can also make a big impact. Our guest contributor Nick shares his insights for landscaping small gardens and backyards to create soulful and inviting sanctuaries.

Having a big backyard is simply amazing. There are numerous things you can do with it like adding various plants and trees. If you wish, you can even add a pool, altogether with pumps and other equipment. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky to have so much space.

Some people are rather limited when it comes to their backyard. However, this doesn’t mean you should despair. It is more challenging arranging a small backyard than a large one and it means that you will require to think creatively.

Asking a professional landscape architect for advice can often be the best option. Sometimes, homeowners start tinkering with their backyards only to discover that they have perhaps bitten off more than they can chew. You might even invest some money in it only to discover that your solution was not as great as you initially thought or that the workload of creating a pretty and well designed outdoor space is more than you initially anticipated.

Therefore, before taking on the planning and designing yourself, ask a friend with green thumbs and gardening experience for advice. This may be a good idea before you start putting your own ideas into practice. Also, this can save you money as professional consultation can be expensive. 

Small garden basics
Small gardens can feel quite claustrophobic. No matter what you do with it, you will probably want to have more plants or a bigger deck or a larger table. The best way to tackle the issue is to remove the lawn and plants to observe the space 'naked'. However, this may not always be feasible.

Also, you have to address  the issue of your neighbours. What do I mean by that? A garden is a private sanctuary where you can relax and entertain with family and friends. Think about planting a tall hedge or a decorative screen. This will instantly make the space seem more cosy.

To create a well planned garden, it is important to have good flow i.e. a pathway. The pathway should end on a patch of concrete or deck or maybe even some lush but well maintained lawn, an ideal place to put your garden table. And here is where most homeowners make a mistake. They wish to have more than they bargained for rather than being realistic. Sometimes, even a table can be a luxury depending on the limited dimensions of your garden. Nevertheless, I have to say that the garden is not the same without one. There is nothing better than relaxing in an inviting backyard, surrounded by pretty plants. So try and be creative and think of smart seating solutions.

Many people often also use their gardens as storage spaces. You can find pots, hoses, lawnmowers and other miscellaneous things lying around. This can significantly reduce your available space making the garden feel even more tight. Make sure to store all the tools away. Whether it’s a basement, shed or garage, there is always some space for storing equipment.

Lastly, we have to address what actually makes a garden - plants and flowers. However, let’s be realistic. Mature trees can overwhelm small gardens. Yes, you can definitely plant a large tree but then, you will have to relinquish other plants. Most people are indecisive at this point. They want both a tree and mature plants or they want several different flowers in their garden. This can be overkill. Overdoing it can sometimes make the garden feel like a hot mess. Stick with minimalism and you will be able to manage your small garden without any hassles.

Landscaping a small garden although challenging can be creatively satisfying. Grouping plants of various heights can create visual interest and appeal and a beautiful earthy canvas to your small outdoor space. For a backyard that is spatially challenged, vertical green walls are the smartest solution. For gardens that are difficult to plant trees in, well maintained topiary planters that emulate trees or bamboo plants in planter boxes can be the alternate design solution. The trick is to create a smart yet well landscaped space that is low on maintenance and big on design. 

Do you have a small garden? How have you landscaped it? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time...every little bit of green helps!

About the Author
Nick Stoyanov is a copywriter and content strategist at – Australia’s largest online pump store. For Pumps is an Australian company that focuses on the national distribution of its comprehensive range of quality pumping products.

Thursday 12 January 2017

House Envy: Julia & Sasha's Slice Of The Hamptons

Happy New Year all you amazing La Maison Jolie readers! We're kicking off 2017 in impeccable style with a house tour to swoon over.

For those of you who were glued to your TV screens watching The Block 2016, definitely know about Block contestants Julia and Sasha. Julia Treuel, a property stylist and her partner Sasha are also owners of the successful home styling business Show Pony Interiors.

They were my absolute favourite blockheads in 2016. Their style is impeccable and something I would love to incorporate in my home. Needless to say when I came across pictures of their stunning Edwardian home in Elsternwick, Melbourne, I felt compelled to share! 

Each room in this seaside abode is a vision, a true labour of love that showcases the perfect marriage of old and new. The cool airy coastal tones of the Hamptons works wells with the Scandinavian touches throughout the house. The breathtaking vibrant Megan Weston art in the dining space and the tranquil art print in the bedroom...just ooh la la! Take a tour of this fully restored heritage house and see if you too get a serious case of House Envy!
In case you are wondering, Julia and Sasha sold this gorgeous house last January to Sam Wood and Snezana Markoski from The Bachelor. I cannot wait for Julia and Sasha to share their new abode with us soon.

So do you have House Envy? Share your favourite room from this house tour in the comments below.

Till next time...I'm crushing on that tiffany blue front door!
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