Friday 2 December 2022

Trend Forecast: Wallpaper Colour and Designs that will Define Living Spaces in 2023!

Creating a sanctuary at home is still key for interior design in 2023. While we are feeling more energised, we continue to place enormous value on the way we live in our homes, embracing the pleasure that serenity and tranquillity can bring to our daily lives. Wallpaper remains a key complement to creating the perfect ambience, as colour and pattern continue to have a meaningful impact in our homes. 
According to Paula Taylor, Trends and Design Expert, Superfresco Easy, wallpaper will bring tactility and vibrancy to our homes in 2023, bringing out the haptic trend that is a sensorial delight. Adding pattern to a wall can instantly uplift the mood of any resident and create a welcoming atmosphere to any home. It can be used to express the personality of the homeowner, or it can be used to create a calming neutral environment for all to feel comfortable in. Pattern and colour have intense mood enhancing properties.

Paula recommends those starting with wallpaper to look to Pinterest and magazines to gather information. Creating a virtual or physical mood board of what you like is a good way to hone the perfect look.

With walls providing the perfect blank canvas for expression, Paula Taylor considers the key wallpaper and colour trends that will define our homes in 2023.

2023 Key Colour Trends: Neutrals
Traditional neutrals such as grey, taupe, and timber brown add calmness and sophistication to interior home design and will always be popular due to its subtleness, while warmer rich tones will pull through in 2023. According to Paula, terracotta red and rich browns are coming to the fore. Celadon green and navy will still remain key.

Neutrals introduce a calming atmosphere that is often balanced with darker layers. Silvery geometric outlines deliver wallpaper that is both masculine and contemporary. Styling is easy, work with black and grey interiors. Alternatively, bring colour back the space by selecting colourful soft furnishings that will act as a fun feature look.
Teal is a shift away from true greens, but brings subtle green and blue elements of the ocean and nature to interiors, without the blaring intensity other greens and blues bring. The Contour Tegula Teal (RRP $93.50) wallpaper design oozes style with sophisticated copper detailing. This product is extra durable and designed to suit your bathroom or kitchen needs.

2023 Design Trends: Wood, Brick, Panels, Tiles
2023 will see a lot of realistic wallpapers that replicate wood, bricks, panels, and tiles. “This is a much easier and inexpensive way to achieve a look or trend in your room than going to the expense of the real thing,” says Paula. “Biophilia is still a key trend. Bring the outside in with lush green imagery and combining this with the realistic woods creates a really contemporary vibe.” Paula also notes Geometrics will continue to be popular in 2023. “Repetitive grids and fine lines bring harmony to a room and reduces stress and anxiety,” said Paula.

For those seeking middle ground between stripes and shapes, geometric wallpaper designs are a popular option. Tile-themed wallpaper and its simplified, structured design is on trend. Geometric arrangements with monochrome colour schemes offer pattern and routine, bringing a sense of tradition and comfort to rooms. The Contour Grecian Black wallpaper transports you to a traditional Greek island. Extra durable, this wallpaper is designed to suit your bathroom or kitchen needs. RRP $93.50 per roll.

Giving a naturally rustic, cosy feel to rooms, wood effect wallpapers are perfect for delivering a traditional aesthetic. Bringing a wood effect wallpaper into a contemporary space delivers modern rustic appeal. Superfresco Easy’s wooden slats Natural Wood Clad design adds depth and style to any interior space. The design gives a stunning 3D design. RRP: $84.35 per roll.

Add a touch of architectural detail to walls through timber panel designs. Providing depth and definition to walls, wood panelling look wallpaper also adds a chic look. The Superfresco Easy Wooden Panel design brings an element of luxury to any space. Featuring a 3D timber panel design, this wallpaper creates both depth and sophistication. Wall Panel Grey RRP: $84.35 per roll.
Once a major investment in a home’s look, wallpaper is now a design element that can be easily changed with the trends thanks to removable options, like Superfresco Easy. It’s ‘Paste the Wall’ technology allows homeowners and even renters alike to quickly put up wallpaper without the need for messy pasting tables and can be peeled off by hand without fear of ruining the wall beneath.

Superfresco Easy is available across at Bunnings Warehouse with prices starting at RRP $60 per roll. For more information visit

Till next time... which wallpaper is more your style?

Wednesday 5 October 2022

House Envy: The Brimar House

Brimar House, an expansive 600sqm home in Mount Waverly, Victoria was built to accommodate the owners – a retired couple and their two young-adult children, as well as various family and friends who often visit from overseas. The brief supplied to architect Michael Ong from MODO, was to create a visually dynamic house with spaces that can accommodate their family and guests, allowing there to be communal space as well as privacy. The outcome is a generous and tranquil multi- generational home, that is both striking and composed.
From the street the homeowner wanted something that was a bit dynamic and had a point of difference, explained Michael Ong, Director of Michael Ong Design Office. The exterior of the house is divided - the bottom half consists of ivory-coloured concrete brick, while the second storey is clad in thermally modified timber. Michael thought it was important that the house felt grounded and embedded into the earth - that it provided a sense of ‘mass’ and ‘weight’. They naturally looked into concrete bricks and blocks and moved away from the grey and darker tones, as they wanted a house that felt welcoming and homely. The light-coloured ivory architectural brick from Adbri Masonry, worked wonderfully to give us a smooth yet subtly textured finish, which paired beautifully with the timber cladding and the landscape design.
The concrete brick walls of the ground floor are designed as two linear wings, one containing the guest zone and the other for the kids, with a sweeping curved glass corridor link - a contrastingly lightweight structure to the two brick veneered volumes. The second floor provides the family with bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining areas, as well as a pool, sauna and gym. The family wanted the space to remain comfortable when they were all together whether there was just the two of them or more. To give an intimate feel, dark interior tones within the space were incorporated - dark wood walls, wooden cabinets, timber ceilings and floors, and dark details on fireplaces and bookshelves. The style between the two floors is deliberately subdued, minimal and restrained.
Central to the lower floor is a sun-filled private courtyard. The courtyard allowed Michale and his team to create a centre and an anchor for the whole house. The outside and inside spaces are carefully shaped to form an architecture that invites and encourages the residents to use and enjoy every part of the house, inside and out.

To create a soft and delicate atmosphere in the courtyard, a series of silver birch trees provide a space for contemplation and quiet and a curved in situ concrete bench acts as a “rest stop” encouraging one to slow down. On a warm day, the series of pivot steel doors and louvre windows can be opened, transforming the space to perform more similar to an exterior bench and verandah.
Instead of the traditional distinction between house, front yard and backyard layout, Michael was able to weave the garden through the design to create a house that is bonded to its surroundings and landscape. By utilising the first-floor structure, a covered outdoor space connecting to the courtyard was created, linking a pool area, putting green, the rest of the garden and an outdoor fire place, which has been built into the exterior architecture, showcasing Adbri Masonry’s ivory concrete brick. The second-story timber structure provides the cover for the outdoor space. 

Curves feature throughout the build adding a softness and more sculptural look. Adbri Masonry’s concrete bricks were the obvious choice for the lower build, as they provide unrivalled design flexibility, and can be used both internally and externally. To offset the heaviness of the brick, delicate lace-like details were created throughout to curve gently with the wall. Steel plates were used through each level of brick to hold the lacework together. The result of the lace detailing allows more light in and draws the eye to the sculptural element within the build.
The lace-like brick theme is also used downstairs as a screen, in a smaller pebbled courtyard, accessed via a guest bedroom. This allows light into the guest bedroom and adds a beautiful visual element. The remaining downstairs area has the capacity to house guests comfortably and ensures visitors have their own privacy and space, both indoor and outdoor.
Michael mentions that the most satisfying aspect of working on the “Brimar” house is to now see how it settles into the garden and slowly ages. He has already noticed that the bricks are slowly picking up the environment, and building up a beautiful patina. 
The bold and breathtaking result is nothing short of spectacular, with the house receiving a Kevin Borland Masonry Award - High Commendation, at the Think Brick Awards 2022. 

For more information, visit

Till next time... what do you think of this build?

Tuesday 6 September 2022

House Envy: The Dune House

Perched on the undulating sand dunes of the Mornington Peninsula National Park, the natural rugged landscape was undoubtedly a key inspiration for Dune House, which has been designed to engage with its environment through a carefully considered palette of natural materials and architectural detail that mimics the distinctive characteristics of the surroundings.
Elevated on slender steel poles the two-storey beach house capitalises on expansive views through dipping dunes, invigorating bushland and the stunning coastline of St Andrews Beach. Designed by Zenibaker Architects and built by Saltvu Builders, it is set across 400sqm and consists of two bathrooms, four bedrooms, and a main living dining zone, which was conceived as a viewing platform to enable views across the entire terrain.
According to architect Michael Baker, Director of Zenibaker Architects’ a local peninsula design studio specialising in unique, finely crafted architecture on the Mornington Peninsula, the main living space was designed as a raised pavilion structure sitting high on the dune scape to allow views in all directions.
Working in harmony with every element that surrounds it, the main structure has been designed to merge cohesively with its background. A cantilever roof & deck elements contribute to a sense of lightness in this home designed to touch down gently on the natural sand dune topography.
In a relaxed style, the timber-clad beach house evokes traditional coastal shacks, reinterpreted through a flat skillion style roof form, silver-grey cement walls and timber, which according to Michael was chosen to complement the textures and colours of the dune landscape to achieve a relaxed beach house feel that only timber provides.
Internally a sense of balance is achieved by incorporating the visual elements of natural timber materials, working in harmony with the exterior materials and landscape, so that nothing feels out of place. A natural material pallet was selected for the interior and exterior consisting of soft greys and natural timbers so that the house would merge with the environment both inside and out.
In keeping with the location’s natural beauty Big River Group’s premium plywood products were chosen due to their hard-wearing durability, unique visual qualities and natural, warm tones, providing a beautifully aesthetic interior.
ArmourPanel was used for the stair walls, the entry and the living and dining walls, and ceilings. According to Michael, the ease of installation allowed for these large areas to be covered relatively quickly. ArmourPanel is unique in appearance, with the species’ individual grain structures being preserved to maintain their natural characteristics so no two sheets look alike. It’s the unique visual quality of the large ‘swirling’ crown grain and colour variation that creates a real feature wherever it is used.
Big River’s premium engineered wood product ArmourCab is designed specifically for cabinetry and joinery applications and enabled a beautifully rich and warm kitchen. The kitchen cabinetry has been created with dramatic shadow line recesses, adding further dimension and depth to the finish.
While breathtaking, the natural dune scape can also deliver some harsh conditions so materials were selected purposefully, to not only evoke the existing topography but to offer protection against the extensive and immersive landscape.
The large sheltering skillion roof overhead provides extensive weather protection in what can be a harsh coastal environment. All the materials that Michael and his team worked with were chosen with longevity in mind. Due to the location of the property and its exposure to the elements, they required robust materials that didn’t require a high level of maintenance.
On a quest to find water views architect Michael Baker and his client, set out with a telescopic ladder and a determined resolution. A treacherous adventure that paid off, Dune House is a stunning response to site, emerging brilliantly alongside the unique constraints of its shifting sand dune environment.
For more information visit

Till next time... do you have house envy? I do!

Friday 19 August 2022

How To: Select the Best Window Treatments for Kids Rooms

For most children, their bedroom is a sanctuary, a part of the house that is completely their own, where they can be themselves. When designing a child’s bedroom creating a balance between practicality and beauty is an important part of the process. Good window coverings should help create a comfortable environment for sleeping, playing and socialising, whilst ensuring the room gets the right light levels at different times of the day, and offer privacy.

Window coverings have the ability to tie in all the other elements in the room and set the scene. There are many ways to style windows in children’s rooms, whether you opt for a bright patterned soft shade or dreamy curtains.
Add a theme with roller blinds
Roller blinds are undoubtedly your best choice if you’re after a themed room. With a vast array of gorgeous designs, the Luxaflex® children’s print roller blind collection includes a lively mix of animal block prints and striking motifs, providing the perfect backdrop for a child’s playroom, bedroom or nursery.

According to Vera Meharg, Luxaflex Window Fashions, an eye-catching pattern can let your blind act as a modern variation of the ‘feature wall’ in a room. This is particularly appealing in children’s rooms where their tastes may change quite  rapidly as they grow, as well as rental properties where there may be limitations on the redecorating you can do. Available in blockout and translucent opacities, in a variety of colourways, it’s an easy option to delight little ones and big kids alike.
Shutters for early nights and sleep-ins
Solid shutters are a good window covering option, as they keep out light and can effectively insulate the room from noise and drafts. Shutters in white or neutral colours are like a blank canvas and are easy to decorate around, providing a timeless option from a child’s early years through to adulthood.

Shutters are a wonderful option for a child’s room as they are very easy to clean and maintain.They also allow natural light in, while maintaining privacy by positioning the louvres to suit the desired view through, advises Meharg. When it comes to room temperature control, Luxaflex® PolySatin® Shutters reflect inbound solar rays back to the outside during summer, but can be opened to allow the warming sun into the room in winter, helping to reduce air-conditioning and heating costs.
Match your window treatment with soft furnishings
Curtains can make a space feel finished and have the ability to transform a room. They are a perfect, cost-effective choice if you wish to create different “looks” for your child as they grow, as you will only need to change the fabric. A good idea is to tie together the curtain print or colour you choose with room accessories, such as a matching window seat, cushions, or light shade, which makes for a lovely cohesive finish.
Create a quiet and comfortable space
Creating children’s bedrooms allows you to take their personalities into consideration, choosing colour palettes and styles that suit. When designing a child’s bedroom, aim to create a quiet and comfortable environment. Hand pick the materials and finishes that can deliver a timeless style while presenting a balanced, and relaxed feel.

A shade option that incorporates both noise and temperature insulation is Luxaflex® Duette® Shades, which can help to reduce everyday sound energy by up to 52% 1 while still allowing light to enter the room. It is the honeycomb technology that helps to dull exterior noise in the cell structure and helps reduce sound transmitted between rooms. The honeycomb structure also provides efficient insulation by trapping air within the honeycomb cell, retaining heat between the two layers and helping insulate the room – meaning rooms stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Child With Allergies?
If your child suffers from an allergy keep this top of mind when choosing your child’s bedroom window furnishings. The incorrect choice can lead to poor sleep or exacerbate their symptoms. Opt for easy-to-clean, lightweight window treatments that are less likely to attract and hold dust and pollen, such as the Luxaflex® Silhouette® Shadings that are made of 100% anti-static and dust-resistant polyester. These versatile Day and Night blinds, are like having two shades in one, with two varying opacities - translucent or room darkening. Translucent fabrics gently filter light to provide a warm glow, whilst the room-darkening vanes provide complete privacy without totally darkening a room. Other good choices include washable, synthetic curtains, roller blinds and shutters with large slats that are easy to vacuum and wipe down.
Go Smart With Remote Operation
As home automation becomes more commonly integrated through gadgets like Google® Assistant, Apple 12 HomeKit® and Amazon® Alexa®, families are simplifying daily tasks through voice technology. Shades that incorporate Luxaflex® Powerview® Motorisation are a fantastic choice for babies and children’s rooms.The smart assistant compatability means you can tell them to open or close on demand, or set more specific scenes for ‘nap time’ and ‘wake up’. Better yet, if bub is already asleep, or you’re in a different room, shades can also be controlled via smart phone or tablet on the PowerView® App.
A thoughtful design vision that incorporates signature pieces of furniture, layers of textured fabrics and materials, and refined styling is the basis to creating a beautiful bedroom sanctuary, designed to last your child’s lifetime. 

For more information visit

Till next time... are you team 'Roller Blinds' or team 'Curtains?

Tuesday 9 August 2022

How To: Enhance Your Home Security With New Wiser™ IP Cameras

You can now make your smart homes safer with the launch of Clipsal by Schneider Electric’s new Wiser indoor and outdoor security cameras. Now available in Australia, the new Clipsal WiserTM Smart Home SecurityTM (Wiser) allows electricians and builders to be at the forefront of smart home security and integration. 
According to Chris Kerr -Vice President of Home and Distribution at Schneider Electric, Australians’ desire for smarter, more initiative homes is growing. Expanding our range to include smart home security was a natural, and important, progression. The IP cameras give Australians the flexibility to create smart, secure and connected spaces.

Clipsal combines over 25 years of local know-how with global expertise in residential technology. Clipsal developed its Wiser system consisting of a scalable range of sensors, connected sockets and switches, blind controllers and IR remotes, allowing customers to control their entire home or certain rooms. All devices are unified by the Wiser hub and Wiser by SE app. 
The cameras can be used as an add-on to existing Wiser systems or as a standalone, the indoor camera offers up to a 340° view of surroundings, full HD recording capabilities, motion tracking and pan and tilt control, all powered by a USB plug pack. Home owners can view their indoor settings at any point of the day with the camera’s IR night vision for low light recordings and motion detection alerts.

Outdoor settings are also more secure with the launch of an exterior camera, designed with a sleek, rounded look that allows it to blend into all exteriors. The outdoor camera offers a wide angle lens, local storage and is powered from a detachable lead and plug pack, plus an IP56 protection rating for protection from rain in any direction.
Launching the security cameras adds to the extensive list of industry leading technology that is opening up the smart home market to more electricians. Traditionally, security and home automation systems required specialists to install these into homes. Wiser’s straightforward interface and wireless installation allows electricians, that do not specialise in security and home automation, to further extend their offering and keep up with increasing energy efficiency and sustainability demands.
The interior and exterior wireless systems deliver further efficiency for time-poor sparkies, builders and clients. Wiser systems can be accessed via a hotspot, meaning electricians can completely install and set up the system ahead of completion, removing the need for return to site visits. It’s also backed by Wiser's customer support services, so trades can install Wiser knowing that once the build is complete, their job is done.

Wiser aims to completely change the home automation market in Australia. According to Chris, smart homes are no longer exclusive to millionaire’s mansions. With over 54% of Australian homes already owning a smart device, electricians across the country now have the chance to be part of the Wiser future of Australians homes.
Wiser home automation solutions are available through Wiser approved installers. To find out more and get certified, visit

Till next time... are you thinking of installing a home security system?

Thursday 4 August 2022

House Envy: The Wabi Sabi House

It was a shared passion for traditional Japanese and mid-century modern architecture that drove the inspiration behind the design of Wabi Sabi House. The family home, located 3.6 kilometres east of Melbourne’s central business district in Hawthorn, is adjacent to a leafy park and overlooks the Yarra River. Five years in planning gave Stuart Holmes Architect and his wife an intimate understanding of the plot, its relationship to the environment and the opportunities it could yield. Connecting to the stunning natural surrounds was an early consideration of the design narrative, which is now articulated through the lived experience of the finished home.
According to Holmes, there is a limited palette of materials which has been used according to a reasonably strict set of design rules. The cohesiveness this has created can be immediately experienced without having to be understood. Externally the material palette incorporates natural grey concrete block, which has been used extensively as breeze block, and ‘shou sugi ban’ charred timber cladding, against the prevalence of Big River Group’s warm Spotted Gum floor and wall panel and custom-made cement features internally.
The visually cool and patinaed exterior contrasts with the warmth of the spotted gum inside. According to Holmes, this is a deliberate wabi-sabi reference to the shedding bark of nearby river red gum trees, which is rough and weathered outside and rich and warm inside.
Working to inject warmth, the timber walls and joinery are a feature of the residence, not only do they complement the grey exterior elements and cement features of the interior, but the natural colourations and depth of colour of the timber, connect visually with the fluctuating colours of the external environment.
The warmth, beauty and unique grain of ‘peeled’ spotted gum veneer made the specification of Big River Amourfloor and ArmourPanel an early decision with respect to internal finishes. Big River’s veneers are available in various thicknesses for use in floors, walls, furniture and cabinetry enabling a well curated and crafted palette of natural materials to be employed.
Its premium quality formply product Armourform was also specified following advice from Big River’s sales and technical teams in the early stages of the project. This early advice helped to dictate some of the key features of the interior design. The specification of the selected Big River products enabled a distinct design language to evolve, whereby the black formply plays off against the ‘tan’ spotted gum according to Holmes.
Additionally, the products enabled the construction of routed joinery pulls and door pulls in the cabinetry, which are also key features of the design, linking form to function and truly indicative of the wabi-sabi vibe. Holmes worked with Finnes Building Group to complete the project which is set across three levels and replaces the remaining half of a 1930s duplex. It consists of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living areas, a study, a laundry and, in homage to Holmes’ love of Finland and its traditions, the residence also includes a plunge pool and sauna.
Based on a sloping plot overlooking the Yarra River, the complex site created some challenges through the build, but with a clear comprehension of the project’s vision and the courage and craftsmanship to proceed, Finnes Building Group realised the overarching success of the project. According to Stuart Innes, Director of Finnes Building Group, this was probably one of their most complex projects to date, it proved challenging at times but also one where the team got an opportunity to really demonstrate their skills. And the end result is spectacular!
Wabi Sabi House is a home that delivers a rich and immersive experience. Conceived as a whole, the dwelling is deeply connected to its site whereby interior elements are experienced via some condition of the exterior and vice versa. Dominated by sustainably sourced timber, the internal materials have been strategically developed to add depth and character throughout the space in a rich yet minimal application, culminating in an inner-city suburban home that responds to its surrounding environment and nurtures the principles of the wabi-sabi aesthetic throughout.
For more information visit

Till next time... hope you enjoyed the Wabi Sabi house tour!

Wednesday 3 August 2022

How To: Bring Coastal Grandmother Style Into Your Home

The Coastal Grandmother trend has taken the world by storm and is now permeating the interior design space. Coastal Grandmother refers to a relaxed, elevated way of living, a type of aspirational lifestyle. Think Nancy Myers and her protagonists, from Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give to Meryl Steep in It’s Complicated and the way they dress, their daily habits and their stunning homes.

Coastal Grandmother is having such a moment, it has become a cultural trend and lifestyle movement of its own. As of July 2022, #coastalgrandmother has 174.8M views on Tik Tok, and continues to grow in popularity.

For a while now, we’ve seen the Coastal Grandmother movement embodied through fashion, lifestyle videos and Instagram content. Now, it’s making its way into our homes.

To create the perfect Coastal grandmother vibe within your own space, online furniture store Luxo Living has shared 6 must-have items to achieve the ultimate coastal grandmother home.

Natural and Neutral Items
Coastal Grandmothers love natural materials paired with neutral tones. From dark wood to light rattan items, a little bit of nature really brings your home to life. Of course, Coastal Grandmother opt for whites and hues of cream in their décor and fashion. Think timeless white furniture that was trendy when Something’s Gotta Give was filmed in 2003 and remains stylish two decades later. The Debby Rattan Accent Armchair with Bouclé Cushion (RRP $229) from Luxo Living is the perfect blend of natural rattan with neutral boucle fabric, and you just know a coastal grandmother would add this item to their stunning reading nook. 
Linen Fabrics
Nothing embodies comfort, style and luxury more than linen, both in fashion and décor. From linen cushions to tablecloths and couches, you know that adding this stunning fabric to your home will elevate the look and feel or your space, and bring in the ultimate coastal grandmother vibes. To get you started, the Mala Solid Wood Accent Armchair with Linen Cushion RRP $329, is the perfect statement piece. 
Comfort for guests
A coastal grandmother loves to host guests and makes sure every corner of her home is full of comfort and timeless style. A great way to offer comfort without compromising on style or space is with a sofa or day bed, such as the Ovidia Velvet Single Sofa Daybed with Trundle (RRP $399). Place this gorgeous bed in a sun-filled corner of your home, between a bookshelf and some soft artworks and you’ll have the perfect coastal grandmother leisure room. 
A place to put your feet up
After spending a day tending to her veggie patch, baking sweet treats and living the ideal lifestyle, a coastal grandmother needs a place to rest her feet, without compromising on style, of course. The DIY Decorator Toni 55cm Bouclé Ottoman (RRP $99) is a great footrest, décor staple and ultimate addition to make your living space even more stylish and relaxing.
A place for books
As a part of the aspirational lifestyle, coastal Grandmother spend their time catching up on some light reading, flicking through recipe books and the pages of house and garden magazines. So obviously, they need places to store their many reading materials. The Avery Natural Rattan Display Shelf (RRP $229) is the perfect display shelf for all of the books you’ll need to perfect the coastal grandmother lifestyle. 
Soft, timeless bedding
The last addition needed to achieve your coastal grandmother inspired home is a soft white quilt cover and bed set. Create ultimate comfy core aesthetic with the white hues of the Davina 6pc Cotton Chenille Quilt Cover Set (RRP $89), and elevate your style with the trendy patterns.
Till next time... give your home some extra comfort and shop the range via

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