Saturday 18 July 2020

Rejuvenate Your Home with Haven's New Scented Candles and Diffusers Range!

Scent is often an afterthought of home design, yet it offers an easy way to create a special space and set a calming mood. The new collection of scented candles and diffusers from Haven offers three fresh fragrances designed to soothe the mind and energise the spirit.

These include; warming sweet Vanilla Sugar, soothing Coastal Jasmine and relaxing Coconut Waters, available in a range of coloured glass holders and decorative pots.
The Coastal Jasmine Scented Soy Blend Candle in Tribal Pot (RRP $15) features the fresh classic scent of jasmine to boost your mood and enhance your room. Presented in a beautifully designed monochrome tribal pot, this candle is a perfect fit for boho, scandi and modern home designs, while the scent will instantly make guests feel relaxed.

The Coconut Waters Scented Soy Blend Candle in clear or amber glass jars (RRP $12) invites you to relax and unwind with the lush fragrance of tropical coconut, reminiscent of distant shores and summers gone by. Perfectly presented in a glass jar, these candles add elegance to any relaxed home style, especially Hamptons and coastal.

Vanilla Sugar Scented Soy Blend Candle in frosted white or charcoal jar with metallic accent lid (RRP $13) offers the sweet fragrance of vanilla, designed to create an uplifting and tranquil sanctuary to relax. Made with a soy blend, this candle offers a more intense fragrance.

The Vanilla Sugar Scented Candle in clear glass jar and lid (RRP $6.50) offers a smaller option of the the same sweet fragrance of vanilla for tighter spaces like sinks and bath surrounds. Alternatively, place them in groups to create a glowing vignette.

To complement the candle range, the Vanilla Sugar Scented Reed Diffuser (RRP $12) provides a mellowing fragrance all day long. Infused with sweet vanilla, the natural reeds gently dispense fragrance in the air soothing the senses and energy within the room.
The Haven range is available in Woolworths stores nationally. For more information visit For more design and styling ideas, check out @haven_au and @raniengineer on Instagram.

Till next time... just a word of caution, these scented candles are highly addictive and extremely pretty!

Thursday 16 July 2020

How to Rejuvenate an Older Property!

For many homeowners, owning an older property is a source of pride thanks to their iconic history, charm and character. However, the flipside of this is that older homes come with issues relating to their age. Whether you’ve got a few surface-level problems or have an entire renovation in mind, there’s a lot to consider when looking to breathe new life into an old property. You’ll likely be seeking to preserve those characteristic vintage elements of your property while modernising the quality of living. It is also important to ensure that the utilities in the house are upto safety standards, so to get started on the renovation, hire an electrician in Melbourne who can check the outdated wiring and electricals.

Identify the work to be done
Before breaking out the toolbox, it’s important to decide what’s on the agenda. Older homes tend to suffer from structural issues, so it may be worth viewing your renovation project as a 'house sandwich': start with the roof and the foundation, then work your way in. Look for leaks, sagging, crumbling, and ensure that the foundation is level and sturdy.

Other common problems to look out for in older homes are:
  • Water damage
  • Insect damage
  • Wood rot
  • Old & hazardous materials (you will probably have to test for things such as asbestos and lead paint and learn how to safely deal with them in your renovation)
  • Outdated electrical, mechanical, and plumbing
  • Old or outdated features

As well as identifying what you’d like to work on, it’s crucial to make a list of things you don’t want to change. Does your house have beautifully moulded skirting or cast iron lacework that you want to preserve or accentuate? Put that in your plans too!

Figure out the cost
Often the least fun but most important part of any renovation project, budgeting will help you understand what you will be able to realistically achieve with your property. This will involve calling around to get quotes for what you aren’t able to work on yourself (it’s important to hire professionals to ensure the best end result) and assessing your savings.

It’s important to prioritise what projects are most important. This can be a difficult process since it’s often hard to tell the final cost of a project until you start digging into it. 

In with the old, in with the new
Part of owning an older property is being proud of its historical assets. Where appropriate, try to preserve these by working around old brickwork, colour, and metalwork. Your house doesn’t need to be a museum, but you can refresh these elements by rejuvenating them with paint or adding modern elements that enhance the original details.

It’s a matter of personal choice, and budgetary or practical concerns, you may have to make some tough decisions. (Also to note, when dealing with original paintwork it’s a good idea to hire a professional painter when painting over or around it as this can be tricky).

Also, just because you own an older property doesn’t mean you have to live how the original owners did! Adding modern appliances and elements such as air conditioning and heating is a great way of bringing an older home into the twenty-first century. Start this process by making a list of what’s important for you or your tenants in a living space.

Lastly, if you’re looking to add more space or open up the layout (an increasingly popular trend in modern homes), approach this process with sensitivity to the original character of the home, as well as care when it comes to the structural layout.

Starting work on an older property can be a daunting process when it comes to ageing problems, budget, and dealing with potentially complicated vintage restorations. But by understanding exactly what you want out of your project, as well as being aware of the considerations and quirks of older properties, you’ll be on your way to putting the finishing touches on your property that will give it new life. 

Till next time... have you renovated an older property?

Friday 3 July 2020

A Modern Take On Vintage Floral Illustrations

If you haven't noticed already wallpaper has made a huge comeback in interior design. Maybe it never went away just lurked comfortably in the background. Nevertheless in 2020 we're shining the spotlight on these gorgeous floral wallpapers that create quite the dramatic statement!

Once upon only loved by grandmas, vintage floral wallpaper has had a modern makeover. Inspired by the botanical illustrator Pierre-Joseph Redouté, MuralsWallpaper has created a collection of four vintage floral designs, transforming hand-drawn flowers into stunning murals which make a statement in the home. It is the second time that Redouté drawings have inspired a collection, with the Botanicals range released earlier this year.

There's never been a better time to surround yourself in nature. Due to the current pandemic all flower shows have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Which is why there is a subtle movement in bringing the outside in. Even Netflix is getting in on the floral action with the release of their reality show The Big Flower Fight last month!

According to Catherine Jacob,Head of Design at MuralsWallpaper, a large portion of the top sellers are reflective of nature in some way, which explains why there has been a strong trend in sales as people create spaces they want to escape or relax in. Murals Wallpaper have seen an uplift in sales of products inspired by nature as they overtake other design styles. And who can blame anyone for falling head over heels with these gorgeous illustrations.

Each design in the collection has something different to offer. Bagatelle balances delicate pink tones with large scale roses, whilst Losse is a peachy green botanical pattern. Giverny has a palette of very soft desaturated pinks, and Papillion adds serene butterflies to the floral mix. All of the designs stimulate feelings of being in a giant garden surrounded by roses. Scale and statement are a core part of MuralsWallpaper collections, and these designs offer a unique twist on the traditional wallpaper subject of florals, transforming them into large scale murals.

Vintage Florals is the second collection by MuralsWallpaper inspired by Pierre-Joseph Redouté - the first, Vintage Botanicals, is a best seller The lead designer of the florals collection, Jess Howard, explains what inspired her to create the second collection. According to Jess, the work of Redouté mixes science with design to produce stunning botanical drawings. Whilst in the last collection, focus was largely on the plant life designs from his book Les Liliacées, this time, the hand drawn rose designs from the Les Roses collection retain the dramatic, large scale impact in true-to-life floral colour tones to give them a modern update.

In case you're wondering where in your home to wallpaper, bedrooms, bathrooms, pretty little nurseries and toddler rooms and even powder rooms are perfect for this floral collection. Bagatelle, Giverny, Losse and Papillion are all available online at MuralsWallpaper.

Till next time... stop and smell the roses!

Thursday 2 July 2020

Creating Room to Dream - A Family Home Renovation!

The transformation of this home in Brisbane is unbelievable. The before and after photos of this project by construction couple, Christal and Chris Fysentzou left me completely speechless! However, designing a property for oneself or a client is one thing, but renovating for unknown potential buyers requires a whole new approach, as Christal and Chris discovered when flipping a spacious family home in Mansfield, Brisbane.
The 1960’s detached property is part of an up and coming coastal area that is proving popular with many of the city’s young families due to its local schools and quiet, residential atmosphere. This heavily influenced the design says Christal: “This look was about that dream of living a modern-day Australian family life. We had to bring it to life while giving visitors the ability to make it their own.”
This mix of styling and restraint required a specific balance Christal continues: “The Aesthetic relied heavily on quality finishes and detailed textures to provide a rich backdrop. It’s important to keep the must-haves neutral and refined and then use furnishings to add colour and drama for viewings.
Cushions and beds, you can change, not so much the windows and doors. 'This pared back aesthetic can be seen through the home’s white colour palette, which is accented with natural woods and brass finishes to create a beachy, open plan feel. Here, Stegbar’s Aluminium windows with white frames extend the appearance of the walls and remove distractions to the outdoors.
 “Black and metallic window frames can really draw the eye out, while creating structure and emphasis on linear shapes, which looks great in contemporary layouts. However, in this house we wanted something more passive to complement the light and breezy nature of the design,” says Christal.

The use of glass doors and windows also adds light and airflow upstairs with the expansion of wall openings in the upper living area and master bedroom. “Stegbar created these fantastic, made-to-measure windows and stacking doors that allowed us to transform the top floor. Most people don’t want to live in the dark, so this is a great example of ensuring the home felt liveable without adding too much of our personal style.”

The master bedroom in particular underscores the importance of using quality finishes and functional design to inspire potential buyers. The use of a rich Notaio Walnut finish on the Stegbar, Galleria wardrobes provides a more intimate setting adds Christal: “The lower level is all about rattan and soft wood tones to keep the atmosphere light and airy, nothing really ties it down. Upstairs we wanted more luxury and refinement, which the walnut finish and subtle lighting creates. It makes the space feel like a calming cocoon, while the functionality of the cabinetry makes getting dressed a unique experience.” adds Christal.
The floor to ceiling wardrobes feature some of Stegbar’s latest innovations in wardrobe design. Here, a Bluetooth controlled speaker system and ambient lighting offer the ability to create task lighting, zoning and different musical moods. They also hide simple storage solutions such as a pull-out mirror, which can be extended on an arm or tucked into the body of the cabinetry. “Clever little touches like the addition of music and smart functionality really help to get people thinking about how they would live in this space, from imagining their morning playlist, to pulling out a mirror to see every angle of their outfit,” adds Christal.
From the walk-in, the eye is drawn to the en suite thanks to a perfectly placed oval back-lit mirror adds Christal: “This space could be a bit dark and we didn’t want to create one glaring light source, so it was important to use lots of small options including the backlit mirror. 
The shape also reflects the curved edges around the home such as the kitchen island and even the garden paving. More organic shapes make the whole house feel more relaxed.”

Another material that features throughout is brass, from the kitchen sink and taps, to light fittings and edging on niches in bathrooms that act as shelving. 
This was incorporated into the frameless Stegbar shower screens to add a bit of luxury Christal continues: “I like to use frameless shower screens in homes I design as they don’t distract from the other material choices. 
However, the addition of brass hardware ties them to the house.
It all comes back to the idea of refinement that allows a new owner to take what you’ve started and create their own dream home,” concludes Christal.
Till next time... hope you enjoyed this home tour!

For more information on Stegbar’s range of windows and doors, mirrors, shower screens and wardrobes, visit

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