Christmas Decor Inspiration 2018

PhotoGrid_1538530550044The most gorgeous Santa sacks you ever did see ūüėć Perth business Onyx & Smoke are known for their amazing hand made pieces like cushions and ottomans. This year, they have released the luxury personalised velvet Santa/toy sacks. Made from quality Warwick fabrics velvet, and available 14 beautiful colours, and in two sizes, each sack is personalised with your choice of initials. These stunners come in two different sized and start at $220. A Christmas item which is sure to be cherished by young and old on Christmas mornings for many years to come. Onyx & Smoke are kindly offering my followers 25% off their sack range. Simply use discount code DIYLOVE at checkout. Expires Sunday October 21st. Shop¬†here.

1_StumpandcoThe moment I saw these beautiful wooden tea light holders from Stump and Co, I knew that they needed to be on my Christmas table this year. The perfect addition I think to any Christmas table. As well as a gorgeous items to have out on display throughout the year. The stumps are available to purchase individually or as a gift set which includes both a mini and small holder, as well as 4 x scented tealight candles. And let me tell you, the scent range is amazing! The tealight wooden gift set is just $39.95 and can be found here. Use code THEDIYDECORATOR20 for 20% off. Expires December 9th. Pppssst, they also have afterpay!

 

animalsset11webChristmas crackers that are almost too pretty to break in half! The Aussie animal Christmas crackers from Paper & Style Co will be a feature on the Christmas table this year and will certainly be enjoyed by both adults and children. Australian illustrator and stationery designer Di, whose drawing skills are next level! Inside each cracker is of course, a cheesy joke, and a gorgeous resin gum leaf tree decorations. The crackers are $44.95 for a set of 6 (there’s two designs) and can be purchased¬†here. Be sure you get in quick as orders must be in by October 31st to ensure delivery by Christmas.

 

 

ADV18-GIN-PERSPECTIVE-HR-1024x1024OK, so this one may not be an actually Christmas decoration…but I feel that it’s something that parents in particular will appreciate in the lead up to the holidays. Cocktail Kit is a website where dreams are made. They stock an Australian gin Christmas advent calendar for adults, which consists of¬† 25 x 30mL hand-picked Australian gins¬†also comes with a tasting booklet with 25 ‚Äėscratchie‚Äô slots. Find the slot for that day and scratch to reveal interesting facts about the featured distillery and gin for that day. Merry December to me ūü泬†Also available is an Australian whisky advent calendar and both can be found here. Prices start from $269.¬†Use code DIYDECORATOR for 15% off until the end of November.¬†

PhotoGrid_1538608660406What is a Christmas tree without some personalised decorations? These beautiful acrylic Christmas baubles from Perth small business Strachan Creative are perfect to buy for yourself, your kids onto give as a special Christmas gift that is sure to be cherished for years to come. Also available in wood finish and a range of other colours, a set of three decorations are just $15.50. There are also two other style designs which can be found here. For 15% off storewide, use code DIYDECORATOR at checkout.

 

christmas-tree-silver-wall-stickersDon’t have room for a Christmas tree or looking for an alternative? Moonface Studio offer a Christmas Tree wall sticker available in matt silver, gold, green and white. Available in either medium or large size, the Christmas tree is supplied with baubles and a star as individual items so you can customise your own tree. Made from premium grade removable vinyl, these stickers look great on walls and doors and are priced from $43. Moonface Designs¬†would like to offer 10% off code to my followers. Use code DIYDECOR at checkout. Expires December 31st.¬†You can view the full holiday sticker range¬†here.

 

IMG_20181004_095301_371To me, smell plays a role in the lead up to and on Christmas day. Last year, my family burned gorgeous hand made Christmas candles from Sydney company Aria Rose Collection. Their Christmas scented candle range, with scents including mulled wine and gingerbread are the perfect addition to such a special day. The stunning amber glass jars with a simple white label design, tie in beautifully with other Christmas decorations, plus they are also a great gift to give to a loved one. Prices start from $25 and you can find the Aria Rose range here. Use discount code DIYCHRISTMAS at checkout for 20% off. Expires December 24th.

 

PhotoGrid_1538610711344It’s always nice to have a special family piece to bring out each Christmas. The Colour & Spice Bamboo family wall hanging is a lovely addition to any family home during the festive season which can be reused year after year. This gorgeous 20cm wooden wall hanging is made from bamboo and is available in a choice of dark bamboo plaque with light bamboo wreath detail, or light¬†bamboo plaque with dark¬†bamboo wreath detail. Both come with red and white twine¬†so they are ready to hang. Priced at $65 each and with¬†free shipping Australia wide from the Melbourne studio. You can find them here. Use discount code THANKYOU10 to get¬†10% off at checkout.

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Who wants a boring old generic Christmas card this year? Not me! Well Drawn Cards are makers of hand drawn, designed numerous themed cards, printed in Yarraville, Melbourne. All cards are created with love and humour onto a 300gsm C grain watercolour paper and come with a beautiful brown craft string tie envelope. Priced from $6.95 (includes free postage), these cards are perfect for that special someone in your life who enjoys a laugh, each card is blank on the inside to allow for your own, personal message. Shop here.

 

MMI_Aussie_Xmas_Deco_Design_2_02_LRIf you are like me and like something a bit different when it comes to Christmas decor, you will love these iconic Christmas decorations from Make Me Iconic. There are five mini wooden ornaments to decorate with: iconic map, lamington, iconic greeting, iconic cockie and kookaburra and Vegemite. The perfect addition to any aussie home, or what a great gift to give to someone who might be overseas during the holiday period to remind them of home. They are priced at $29.99 and you can find them here.

Happy shopping!

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Zoe РThe DIY Decorator

Summit Sleepover

In my 33 years I have not once lived in a new build. Growing up in the country, all of the houses we either lived in with my parents or rented when we were older were built in the 1980’s or earlier. Even now, our first home here in Perth was built in 1996. So although its design is fairly modern, its lacking a lot of features that current new homes contain. So when I was offered to bunk up with my buddy Em from Stilettos & Bricks for the night in the Industria display home courtesy of Summit Homes, I jumped at the chance! As an interior decorator I see a lot of new builds. But most of them are either empty or in need of decorating. The Industria is fully furnished and decorated and is a home that takes the industrial interior style to a whole new level. Even from the outside, the home has an industrial look about it and was easily recognizable when we pulled up for our stay recently.

IMG_20180910_131110_459The Industria is a 4×2 with all the features you would expect from a new build. Although almost 2 years old, the home which is located in Baldivis Western Australia, has everything a family could ever need in 2018 and beyond. The 221.62m2 design is a perfect family sized home and one that entertainers will love. My favourite area of the house has to be the huge open plan kitchen, living and dining areas which sit under a gorgeous raked ceiling with exposed beams. Such a bold, industrial statement to match the equally stunning gourmet kitchen. Boasting a Tasmanian Oak breakfast bar with waterfall ends, a massive walk-in pantry, hidden scullery, plus plenty of storage and bench space, this kitchen is geared towards modern family living.

IMG_20180910_130503_792Another favourite area was the spacious master suite which features exposed brick walls, impressive raked ceiling, and oversized windows that give the room a light and airy feel. I also love the inclusion of the barn-style door which leads through to the indulgent walk-in robe and ensuite. The styling in this room and the rest of the home which is by LaVie Interiors is perfection. The absolute definition of industrial transformed in to a well decorated and functional space. Another beautifully styled room is the theatre room. These days we see a lot of cinema style theatre rooms which consist of oversized chairs for lounging, a giant screen and not much else. In this home though, the room has the extravagance and feel of a theatre room yet is styled to be more functional and therefore able to be used as a second lounge room or somewhere to simply relax in style. The size and IMG_20180910_130651_182location of the room also lends itself to being used as another bedroom or home office if you aren’t in need of a movie room.

To make the most of our stay, Em and myself decided that the beautiful timber breakfast bar deserved and equally beautiful grazing platter. So along with the help of some amazing Perth businesses, we put together a spread with enough food for 15 people. Even though there was only the two of us…ūüź∑ An assortment of fruit, cheeses, breads, dips and more were the base of our platter which was made even better with some sweet delights from some wonderfully talented lady bosses. The naked cake was not only a beautiful creation, but damn tasty as well. Fun fact; Jemma from All The Cakes studied under well know Australian p√Ętissier and chef, Adriano Zumbo. And the gorgeous custom Summit Homes¬†cookies by Oh Cookie Co were so amazing, that unfortunately after using them in the grazing platter, we devoured them all and forgot to share…ūüôä Of course, the grazing table wouldn’t have been complete without some decoration. Tanya from Sea Of Love Studio supplied the gorgeous bunch of fresh blooms and Nat from Aura Crystals supplied us with some amazing quartz platters which we displayed food items on. Em and I were so happy with our creation that we may join forces and add ‚Äėgrazing platter creators‘ to our resumes ūüėČ

 

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Getting to experience even just one night in the Industria really opened my eyes to what it means to love in a quality built home. Impressed isn’t even enough to describe how I feel about the Summit built home. There is no cut corners. The finishes are well thought through and the quality of them is top level. The attention IMG_20180910_130316_809to detail when it comes to how the home has been styled is the perfect way to show potential clients just how amazing their future home can be. I’m not going to lie, I was a little sad to go back to my home. But thanks to Summit, I was able to experience for myself what its like to live in a home full of modern technology and design and after hearing more about the Summit building process, it has opened my eyes to the possibility of me wanting to build in future. Something I always felt intimidated by in the past. I am very thankful to Summit Homes and the Style Studio By Summit for opportunity and also to Em from Stilettos & Bricks. Never have I danced or laughed as hard. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself as much without you there ‚̧

Zoe РThe DIY Decorator 

Hamptons Home Styling With I Wanna Go Home

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The Hamptons style of interior decorating is one that is always on trend. Due to its light and airy sophisticated look which gives a holiday home appeal, it is popular amongst home decorators of all ages and is a style we are constantly seeing on TV, in magazines and all over social media. So why is it so popular? Due to the use of fresh tones and timeless furnishings, the Hamptons style is a very elegant look and so it doesn’t date like some other interior trends do. So how can you create a Hamptons style in your own home? This is something I am asked often as here in Australia, Hampton‚Äôs style pieces can be harder to source. So I’ve collaborated with Australian business I Wanna Go Home to show and explain to you how by using the right furniture pieces, home decor pieces and colour palette, you can bring this style to life.

PhotoGrid_1535873729224As the I Wanna Go Home team will tell you, the key element to the Hamptons style is white, white and more white. Build on this with other key decorative elements and accent with touches of colour and texture where it counts. Think of your Hamptons decorating journey as one with 3 layers. Layer one: The base, which is hard finishes of the room. Layer two: The furnishings, which are your larger furniture pieces. And layer three: The styling, which are the decorative items which finish the space and pull it all together. For all three levels, you are looking for crisp, white finishes to create the bright, open look which is true of the Hamptons interior style.

The ideal flooring choice for The Hamptons look inside your home is to go for timber floorboards. Pale timbers with grey undertones that give the air of effortless coastal style. If carpet is preferred, look to natural tones and simple textures that evoke sandy shores and driftwood. For the walls, again we are looking for neutral colours such as white or ivory. Light and airy window dressing and statement lighting is also key to creating a genuine Hamptons home. Metal, timber of wicker pendant lighting are often popular choices. Keep to light-coloured benchtops and choose all white finishes for kitchen cabinetry with featured areas of open shelving or glass paned doors.

PhotoGrid_1534742386766When it comes to selecting furniture pieces for your Hamptons interior, think relaxed luxury resort style with deep, overstuffed sofas upholstered in pale neutrals. Sideboards and side tables in natural timber or white adds extra dimension to the room, as do occasional tray tables and cane or rattan armchairs with plump upholstered cushions. Shop for pieces that ooze the luxury, coastal style of the Hamptons such as these pieces to the right from I Wanna Go Home. The Australian Hamptons style furniture and homeware store stocks quality timber and MDF pieces which come fully assembled and are therefore better quality than a flat pack item. Offering delivery to all metro and regional areas around Australia, I Wanna Go Home also help you save money when furnishing with Hamptons style pieces by offering furniture bundles such as the popular Halifax essential Hampton’s bundle.

For decoration, layer with rugs in natural fibres of jute and sisal or woven with textures of natural cotton and bleached wool. Washed out blues also work beautifully on timber floors. Cushions piled on sofas is must and this is where you can bring in a little colour. If you are looking for accessories and items such as coat racks and floating wall shelves in Australia, I Wanna Go Home offer free delivery on these items. What colours should you use for the Hampton style? China blues and ocean inspired tones such as sea glass blue and sand work together and with the style so well. Texture is also an important feature to keep in mind when decorating. Quality linens, jute edges and piping on cushion edges really adds a whole new layer to the space. Use items such books, glass lanterns, china bowls and pieces of coral to create decorative vignettes around your living spaces on top of tables and counter tops to complete the Hamptons look.

Use these tips to guide you in creating a Hamptons style home which will give the look of luxe, whilst always being in style.

Zoe Gilpin ‚Äď The DIY Decorator

DIY Dollhouse

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You guys know I love a good op-shop bargain. The things you can find if you put the time and energy in to looking are amazing. You can find items in the best condition and some which are in need if some love and care. I am very lucky when it comes to some of my finds as my mother in law is a keen op-shopper. Now that she’s retired and living in Perth, she’s hitting the second hand stores multiple times a week so I can can basically place my order to what I’m seeking and 9 times out of 10, she delivers. She’s found two doll houses for me so far. Both which at first glance you may have walked past and though nothing can be done to make them look better. But someone like me who sees the beauty in the impefect, knew that these structures could be turned in to someting great. Today I’m going to share with you how I turned this bright and colourful timber doll house in to something me and my kids, and maybe even their kids, will treasure for years to come.

Above left is the doll house when my MIL first delivered it to me. Pretty special right! But, I knew that all it needed was a good sanding and a coat of paint to make it look completely new. The shape of the doll house itself was great and the main reason why I could see the potential in it. I love the arched doors and the staircase especially and the fact that it could be turned in to something quite realistic looking. To start the makeover, I had to sand back the existing paint so that I could apply the new colour. The gloss paint was not overly easy to remove, so I did use an electric sander for the areas I could reach with it. Then the rest was gently sanded by hand. I removed all of the paint from the roof but didn’t worry as much about the inside colour as that wasn’t as glossy so was easier to paint over. Because I’m not the worlds best painter and have an unsteady hand, I simply painted the whole house white. I just used some leftover house paint we had in the shed. Two coats covered any existing colour and gave the house a fresh new feel. Now that I had a blank canvas to work with, I started thinking about the finishes for the interior and exterior. I wanted to in a way recreate our own home so decided to stick with white walls and to decorate PhotoGrid_1526963675847with neutral and natural items and finishes. For the roof, I made tiles (shingles) using large pop sticks I picked up for a few dollars at a discount store. They are the ones that beauticians use to apply hot wax. You could use regular sized ones as well but it would take longer to cut and stick them all on. I also used pop sticks, this time some miniature ones, for the skirting boards I glued around all the interior floor/wall joins. Now when I say glue, I used a hot glue gun for everything in this project. It’s easy to use, strong and dries fast which I like when I’m working on a DIY project. For the flooring, I picked up some timber look vinyl place mats from Kmart which were around $3ea. I simply cut with craft scissors to the floor layout and hot glued in. For the curtains, I cut up some lace fabric I already had, and threaded on to some thin dowel from Bunnings which I glued above the interior windows.

PhotoGrid_1526962177490When it came to decorating the interior of the doll house, I didn’t just want to buy items which you always see in doll houses. I wanted to make it more realistic looking. Not having worked with a doll house and miniature items before, I went in to the project not really knowing what to get or where to get it. I measured the house and did some Googling to find out the scale of items I needed. Which for this house is 1:12. (Barbie doll house is 1:6). I found out quickly that buying doll house furniture can cost a small fortune. Especially if you get obsessed like me and want to buy all the things! After much research, I found out that purchasing items from international sellers on eBay was the way to go to keep the cost down. The plus side: it’s super cheap. Like $1 for an item plus free postage. The PhotoGrid_1526962206885most expensive piece I purchased from from eBay was the kitchen at $24 which I think is still very cheap considering the detail to it. The down side: buying items from places like China takes time to receive. But if you are willing to wait a few weeks, it’s definetly worth it. Some items arrived within two weeks. Some were longer at around 5 weeks. Each seller is different. I had no issues with any of the items I purchased from Chinese sellers. They were all exactly as they appeared online. And they all arrived safely. My tip when buying from eBay us to search ‘miniature’ under the doll house & miniature category as to the left. Then change the settings to search lowest price & postage to find the cheaper items. There’s a lot of sellers listing doll house pieces for rediculous prices. I’m talking hundreds! Don’t let that trick you I¬† to thinking you need to buy expensive items. Go the cheap ones! Apart from eBay, I picked up a few items from friends whose kids didn’t use their doll house furniture anymore, and I also found some items in discount stores and op shops. Some needed a bit of DIY which I’ll go in to next.

PhotoGrid_1526962086722I made a few items myself using my friend the hot glue, dowel, pop sticks and fabric offcuts. I found jute twine really useful and made items like the little baskets and the basket wall feature simply by coiling the twine and gluing it together. They turned out great and literally cost cents to make. I found some jute edging at a discount store which I cut in to strips and glued together to make the floor rug to the right. I also found artificial plants I had laying around the house useful as I cut them into smaller pieces and turned them in to miniature plants for decoration. I made bedding and cushions out of scraps of fabrics. And even tiny artworks which were simply interior magazine photos of artwork, cut out and glued to some cork backing. Some of the items I purchased from eBay or got second hand weren’t the right colour so I simply repainted them to make them fit the scheme. I really just played around with buying, making and hacking items until I felt that the house was coming together. Once the furnishings were in, I really went to town on eBay purchasing items like food, books, framed art and decorative items to give that realistic look to the house. Overall, I am beyond happy with the final result. I know I’ve created something social for my son and daughter which for the moment will sit up very high on the shelf where they can’t touch it. But, in future when they are a bit older, will surely love. I have another doll house to work on which is Barbie doll sized. So I’m looking forward to finding items for that and sharing another doll house makeover project with you guys soon.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

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Whollygrail

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Communities make the world better. From our commitment to fair trade, to finding the best small, family owned businesses and supporting life changing organisations; the Whollygrail Store gives you peace of mind for quality and integrity. – Whollygrail.

IMG_20180514_135944_066In a world where the environment suffers for our wants and needs, we can help remove some of the strain by making smarter choices when it comes to buying both decorative and functional items for our home. Empowering people with knowledge is an important factor to helping us understand the issue and make the effort to purchase more wisely. For this blog, I not only have the pleasure of interviewing an Australian company whose sole purpose is to produce and distribute these items, but also try out, style and share some of the range with you guys. But first, a little bit about the amazing Australian small business making waves with their affordable, eco and fair trade friendly home and body products.

IMG_20180515_115739_190Whollygrail was created by #girlboss Danielle to inspire conscious choices for our every day decisions, simply because that‚Äôs where we can make the biggest impact for our health and the biggest change for the planet. Based in Mona Vale NSW, Danielle, who is a Mum, nutritionist and passionate health advocate, created Whollygrail which focuses on personal care products, sheets, towels, kitchen linen and baby wear for their first edition range. The Whollygrail range contains no nasties and are produced by small scale family owned, Australian businesses. Their textile range is GOTS certified organic and made from fair trade cotton and theres no use of chemicals or pesticides in the making of their products which means no nasties against your skin.¬† Quite often body care items can contain chemicals and toxic ingredients which have been linked to a variety of health issues in people’s systems. Whollygrails personal care range is completely¬†chemical free so you know its safe for you and your families skin.¬†The two products I will be working with for this blog are the Bedding in a Bag Sheet set, in colour stone. And the 7 piece Towel set which is also in the stone colour.

IMG_20180515_121429_418Whollygrail prides themselves in not only environmentally friendly produced products, but also ones that are well made and perform well too. And you can tell that both their towel set and bedding range is of the best quality and is going to last. The towels are thick, heavy and made with the finest quality organic and fair trade Indian cotton offering ultimate softness and absorbency. The set consists of two bath towels, two hand towels and two wash cloths, with a beautifully soft 900gsm foot towel for ultimate in luxury. My favourite piece in the set is the oversized hand towels. The perfect size for drying big hands and little hands which need washing multiple times a day! The stone colour is the perfect neutral tone for my bathroom and adds just the right pop of colour against our white tiles. The set is also available in a charcoal and linen colour. Whollygrail also stock beach towels and a range of other eco friendly bathroom items including bamboo toothbrushes, vegan makeup brushes and hand-cut soaps.

IMG_20180515_115313_949I’ve said it before, I am not a huge fan of folding fitted sheets. I can not do it. I will never master it and have resorted to hiding those sheets in the back of the linen cupboard to hide my shame.¬†So I was quite excited when I saw that the Whollygrail sheet set range comes in a matching drawstring bag which, I can hide my fitted sheet in! Hoorah! This isn’t the only thing I love about these 300 thread count 100% organic and fair trade Indian cotton sheets. The fitted sheet is a deep base fit which means that it is as larger than average fitted sheets and therefore can be used for pillow tops and mattresses with thicker depths. The sheet sets are available in white or the stone colour I have used and come in all sizes from single to king. They not only feel great, but look IMG_20180515_115355_093amazing as well. As with the towel set, you can tell by the feel that the sheets are of great quality and are worth investing in as you know you will have them for years to come. Whollygrail also stock a gorgeous range of cot sheets, along with other baby items including rompers and onsies which you can find on their website.

Opting for items which are better for the planet doesn’t mean forking out huge amounts of money or losing quality and style. Quite the opposite. Purchasing products such as those from¬†Whollygrail guarantee you well made, on trend pieces which are available at a suitable price point. They are items that are worth investing in and which you will get your money out of for years to comr. For more information on Whollygrail and their approach to everything nature friendly, or to view other items from their range, head here to their website.

Whollygrail have kindly set up a discount code for my followers. Use code ‘MAY20′ at checkout for 20% off all sheet sets, including cot sheets, and 7 piece towel sets (Expires end of May, 2018). Plus free shipping for all Australian orders over $130.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

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Caim & Able

IMG_20180502_111059_112The moment I was contacted by the team at Caim & Able, I was very excited to work with their product. That packaging ūüĎĆ Yes, I am totally a judge a book by its cover type of girl. Which I think is totally fine. Especially in this day in age when a lot of us online shop and don’t actually get to see or smell the product before committing to buy it. To me, if a company has gone to that extra effort to make their packaging look amazing, it means they have put just as much effort in to their product. Caim & Able are a successful Australian company who not only create a gorgeous range of natural, ethical, cruelty free products, they also give back to the community by donating a portion of profits to causes such as women’s community shelters. So by making a purchase, not only are you receiving a beautifully packaged, all natural product, but you are also helping to give back to those in the local community who are in need. The fact that this company gives back so much is also another reason why I’m so happy to work with them. The two products that I have been lucky enough to try out are the skin nourishing magnesium salt body scrub and the protect magnesium bath salts.

IMG_20180502_101242_636The nourish body scrub contains coconut oil, desert lime, citrus and magnesium. The scent itself is citrus smelling yet not an overpowering smell. The gentle exfloiant is gentle on the skin, leaving it feeling oh so soft by removing the dead skin cells and letting the hydrating oils and nutrients absorb in. The scrub also contains a rich concentration of vitamin c which is a powerful antioxidant which helps to refuvinate the skin, enhance skin firmness, even out patchy skin and revitalize skin tissue. I enjoyed trying out the scrub whilst soaking in a warm bath. The texture of the scrub is just right and left my skin feeling smooth and smelling devine. Definetly a great product to have for those days where you need a little relaxation time for yourself.

 

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IMG_20180502_110653_443I love the look of the magnesium bath salts. Tiny shards of rosemary and lavender scented pieces which are made from high quality, mineral rich salt magnesium chloride helps to replenish vital magnesium levels. Soaking in Magnesium Bath Salts relaxes nerves, removes everyday stress, relieves tension, jump starts enzymes important for protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and can aid in relieving back pain, muscle pain, and arthritic pain and stiffness. The addition of lavender oil which promotes relaxation and relieves stress and the rosemary supports healthy collagen development along with aiding pain relief. To use, simply add a half a cup to bath water and soak for at least 20 minutes to make the most of the plant extracts and minerals. Soaking with this product really helps your body to relax and gives you that day spa experience in the comfort of your home. The scrub is also very safe and great to use for both babies and and the elderly.

So for me, the Caim & Able range ticks all the boxes. Beautifully sleek packaging Wonderful scents. And natural ingredients which are a great benefit to the body. So next time you are lookimg for a treat for yourself or for a friend, keep this amazing Australian business in mind. And make sure to head here to their website to see the rest of there gorgeous range.
Zoe РThe DIY Decorator 

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Solvej Baby & Toddler Swing

 

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How lucky are we these days to be able to buy gorgeous and well made products for our kids, which also have the bonus of matching our home decor as well. For an interior obsessed mum like myself, it’s a big win! I’m not one to buy the bright plastic kids items simply due to the fact I like my home to look how I want it. And like a kindergarten is not the look I am after… Yes I love for my kids to have colour in their lives and I don’t completely deprive them of fun filled bright toys. But if I come across an item which ticks the box of my kids loving it and it all looks nice in my home, then it’s the product for me. When I was asked to try out and review the Baby & Toddler Swing from small business Solvej, I was very excited as I know it’s the type of product that I love and could also share with the interior savvy Mums of Instagram who would love this type of item for their own homes as well.

PhotoGrid_1523509886611Pronounced Sool-vay, Solvej swings are a product of¬†HOLMS√ĄTER which is a manufacturer, wholesaler and direct mail order company making and selling high quality canvas and wood swings. Established in 1993 in the North Island of New Zealand, the business started after it’s owners felt there was a gap in the market for attractive, great quality, well priced and environmentally friendly children’s swings. They offer a beautiful range including the baby & toddler swing, board swing, child swing and more. The canvas used in their range is 100% acrylic canvas. It is rot proof and is the best outdoor furniture canvas on the market andhas a 5-year manufacturers warantee from fading.¬†The choice of timber used for the producgs has to fulfil the criteria of being naturally weather durable to avoid chemical treatment with the pollution that can come with that. Timber used also has to come from a planted or sustainable source so to not be a part of the depletion of indigenous forests anywhere in the world. The quality of these swings is amazing. The look and feel of the timeless natural design tells you that this is an item which is made with love and one that will last for years to come.

IMG_20180412_122511_987The Baby & Toddler swing in our possession is a safe and generous baby swing that converts into a toddler swing and can be used from 6 month to 6 years old (40kg max). It can be easily shifted from indoors to outdoors and is available in 11 gorgeous colours (no fluro in sight!). The swing can be mounted from a doorway, beam, ceiling joist, verandah or pergola using the provided stainless steel screws. At the moment Miss Harper is using the swing set to the toddler setting which means the leg divider is in place. Once she is older, or if Jack wants to use the swing, we can simply remove the divider which makes it into a toddler swing. Both our kids love the Solvej and I know it’s something they are both going to enjoy for many years to come. As will I thanks to its neutral colour and gorgeous design.

You can purchase directly or find a stockist at the Solvej website .

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Artificial Indoor Vertical Garden

IMG_20180403_143743_074When I told my husband we were installing an artificial vertical garden in our home, I though he may not be on board with my latest decorating idea. To my surprise, he was actually very interested and agreed to help me install it. And now that it’s up, he’s the proud DIY’er standing back and admiring his handy work. He even very proudly uploaded a photo of it to his social media accounts. The decision to install something as large and permanent as a vertical garden can be quite daunting. And to be honest it is something I ummed and arghed about for awhile before deciding to give it a go. I’m so glad I chose to go with this idea to decorate what was a rather dull area of our home. I’ll go through the installation process shortly, but first a bit about the supplier of the artificial vertical garden panels,¬†Designer Plants.

PhotoGrid_1522062058165The DIY hedge panel system from¬†Designer Plants¬† is the answer to having a vertical garden inside or outside of your home which requires no watering, no maintenance and is guaranteed not to die on you. Win! After installation, all that is required is an occasional clean with a feather duster and damp cloth. That’s the kind of indoor gardening that appeals to me!¬†Designer Plants has been leading the industry with innovative, high quality artificial hedges and plants for¬† years and are known for their quality and long lasting products. Their aim is to make transforming your home or property easier with products that involve no planting, cultivating, toxic chemicals, fertilizer, watering, weeding, pesticides, maintenance, trimming, or endless expenses. Artificial hedges, fake plants, and vertical garden screens are the solution! High Quality, UV engineered Spring Sensation¬†Green Wall¬†‚Äď Perfect for fences, walls, patios, balconies and as you’ll see in this blog, interior spaces. Each UV stable sensation DIY Hedge Panel/Screen is¬†1 meter wide by 1 meter long. It is easy to install and can be cut to shape to fit an area of any shape and size. The super dense foilage is highly realistic and lifelike and will have visitors asking if it is real or fake.

IMG_20180403_143333_812The middle of our home is quite a dark area and one of the only spaces which I can’t keep a real plant alive in. I love having some greenery in every room in our house, so the idea of having an indoor vertical garden appealed to me very much. For our wall, we needed a 2x2metre panel which is 4 of the standard 1x1metre panels. The beauty of this system is that the panels clip together neatly so it can be added to if needed. The walls in our home are double brick so we used the provided wall pugs and nails to fix the panels to our wall. If you are installing on to a different surface, refer to the¬†Designer Plants¬†website. Before working with the panels, we measured the wall so that the backing grid would fit perfectly to the edges of it. We then measured and cut (with scissors) the joined panels to get them to IMG_20180403_143009_576the right size. Next, we measured, marked and drilled holes into the wall where the now 1 large panel was to be mounted. Once all the holes were drilled and the wall plugs tapped in to them, we (it takes at least two people to do this part) lifted the panel to the wall and attached it with the nail and washer (The washer holds the panels in to place by being placed over the backing grid). We were left with some excess pieces of panel (cut offs), so we removed each individual piece of foilage and added them to the vertical garden to fill any gaps and cover the nails and washers. And that’s it! An easy and fun weekend DIY project with maximum impact!

IMG_20180403_143619_022The overall looks is so lush and green and really makes an impact to the room. As the wall is now such a feature, I have kept the styling quite simple. A three piece cane setting along with a few simple decorative pieces is all that is needed to finish that area of our home. Other ideas I had to compliment the vertical garden would be to hang a large print over it or even a basket wall feature. I think a small two seater sofa or occasional chair with side table and lamp would also work well in front of the wall. The possibilities are really endless! Greenery to me is a must for every decorating style, so using an artificial vertical garden either indoors or out will suit many interior styles and is guaranteed to be a great investment for greenery lovers.

Thank you to the Designer Plants team for allowing me to work with their amazing product! For more information and to see other available designs in the range, head to their website where you can order a free sample.

Zoe Gilpin РThe DIY Decorator 

Natural Decorating

 

 

Nature is man’s teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. -Alfred Billings¬†

IMG_20180326_091148_468I‚Äôve always been drawn to the natural decorating trend. As much as my personal style changes and evolves, I always end up back at a natural style in my home. For me, it‚Äôs a favourite because it‚Äôs full of textures and tones and is quite a relaxed style so you are free to incorporate what you like in to it. For this blog, I am going to share with you what I have kept in mind when I created a natural master bedroom,¬† and give you some decorating tips and ideas for what to use when decorating your own home. I’ll also be sharing with you some amazing products from some great businesses that I have used in my space to show you how to decorate your own home in the natural style.

IMG_20180326_082115_260To create a natural interior, you can not only use items made from natural materials or use colours inspired by nature, you can also use items from nature iteself. I love going for a walk in the bush and foraging for worn branches which can be turned into something like a clothes hanger, or some dried reeds which look perfect simply sitting in a vase or woven belly basket. Collecting and decorating from nature’s creations is not only fun, it doesn’t cost you a thing! When purchasing items to style, pick ones that reflect the colours of nature. Earthy browns. Coastal blues. Lush leafy greens. Nature offers up a variety of colour, so explore these beautiful tones and portray them in to your space. Nature is also full of texture. So it’s another great element to use when decorating. Textured accessories. Textured IMG_20180326_090552_751soft furnishings. Textured wall decor. Texture is particularly good to use in an interior like my master bedroom as I’ve concentrated on using earthy tones rather than colour. The textural elements add another layer and some dimension to the space. So, you can use items given to us by nature. You can purchase decorative accessories which are inspired by nature from retailers. And for this theme in particular, you can go thrifting. Hit up the op-shops or search places online like Gumtree to find second hand items. It not only saves you pennies, it also keeps your interior unique by using one off pieces and combining them with new items to create a style which is a one off.

 

So what items should you use when decorating using a natural theme? Light and natural coloured fabrics in pieces like bedding, throw blankets and cushions. Texture in pieces like floor rugs, wall art and decorative accessories. Use elements such as ceramic, terracotta, cane, wicker, recycled paper, crystals and rocks, timber, textured glass etc. All these elements come from nature and are not only beautiful, but packed full of texture as well.¬†Include art pieces that contain textures and tones. Or that are reminiscent of natur i.e. flower, plant, landscape or animal drawings. Decorating in a natural style can lack colour, so by using a variety of tones and textures, it will add dimension and doesn’t leave the space looking flat and dull. Also use plants in your space to compliment the natural tones. Plants finish any room and work particularly well for this decorating style especially. If real plants aren’t your preference, you can purchase very realistic and affordable ones these days.

IMG_20180326_085943_088When decorating any room, it is important to remember to please all of the senses. We are already seeing something beautiful. We are touching textures. But we can add even more to the room by also catering to our other senses; sound and smell. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it in every decorating blog I do in future, finish a room with something that smells devine. It is amazing how when we smell something gorgeous when entering a room, it lifts it to a whole new level. This is because it is satisfying another one of our senses. Adding a item like a candle, reed diffuser or an electronic oil diffuser to a room makes it very appealing and inviting. The Gather Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser by Ellia Australia, which I have included in my bedroom, not only gives off a gorgeous scent, its basket-weave design is a great decorative addition to any room in the home. I love having mine on my bedside table as it looks good, smells amazing and plays a variety of IMG_20180326_084839_868relaxing and uplifting sounds which makes our master bedroom seem like a day spa. The combination of scent and sound really gives a room a whole new feel. Another clever and attractive way to add sound to a room is with a portable blue tooth audio system. This one I have in my room is from The House Of Marley and is the sexiest speaker system I’ve ever seen with its bamboo finish and sleek design. It fits in perfectly with the natural decorating theme and is great to use when I’m relaxing or working in our bedroom. So if you are planning on redecorating a room and want to perfect it, make sure to think about pleasing all the senses. Not just sight and feel.

If natural decorating is something you would like to include in your home, I suggest you start by making a mood board to work out what look you want and if the items you love work well together. Research products online and then plan a day to start gathering your natural or nature inspired items. Find some bush land and go for a forage. Stalk your favourite small businesses and see what they stock that suits your space. And go have a look at some local op shops. You’ll be surprised at what you can find! Then bring it all together, remembering to include sight, touch, smell and sound to create the perfect relaxing, natural themed interior space. Most importantly, have fun creating and decorating and remember to stay unique to your personal style.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

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Harper in Colour Land

IMG_6931When I found out that I was having a girl when pregnant with Harper, I of course wanted to create something special for her room. But somehow I fell in to the trap of decorating it how I thought people would want to see it. Pink and grey, and on trend with the current Scandi inspired style. The room was gorgeous, don‚Äôt get me wrong. But it never felt quite right. I always strive to be a little out of the box when it comes to decorating. Especially so in my own home. So once Harper started to get a little older and I decided to part ways with the more baby items in her room, I began to create a toddler room which was decorated how I wanted it to look. And what I’ve created with the help of some amazingly kind Australian small businesses, I am beyond happy with.

IMG_6863The theme I really wanted to work with was colour. Our Instagram feeds are full of pretty pastel nurseries and monochrome kids room, which are absolutely adorable. But something I don‚Äôt see a lot of is colour. I think people can associate colour in kids rooms as a room which is full of toys, toys and more toys. Which, can be considered a bit a messy looking and maybe even a little tacky. So I challenged myself to create a room which was full of bright, beautiful and inspirational colour for my little girl. Who is already very colourful herself! Being the obsessive decorator that I am, I also wanted the room to be appealing to me as an adult and something that I won’t have to change in a hurry. So how did I achieve that? My top tip is to choose items which aren‚Äôt necessarily for kids. You don‚Äôt need to buy the paw patrol bedding and the train track floor rug. Pick items which are going to grow with them and stay on trend for years to come to avoid having to replace them in a few years time. Purchase furniture items which are plain coloured; white, timber or black. Then if you do want to change the look later on, it’s easier to do so as you aren’t stuck with coloured pieces that may not go with your new theme. Add in your colour, texture and pattern with the smaller items such as toys and soft furnishings. These are easier and less expensive to replace in future is need be.

PhotoGrid_1518697804048So how do you know what colours to use? You could either pick 2 or 3 preferred colours to work with to create a harmonious scheme. Or like me, use every colour of the rainbow. I wanted the full contrast of bright, multi colours against light timber and bright white. I did pick one colour which was hot pink, and made sure that every area of the room contained it. This was to give some uniformity and have a repetitive element which is always a good idea when decorating a room. Two items I adore and which are bursting with colour, is the felt ball garland from Hello Red Hen and hanging hot air balloon by Famille Designs. These pops of bright colour really draw the eye to this area of the room. And how sweet is the little cloud wall hook from Ekokid Spaced In. A fun addition to the room and the perfect hanger for the garland.

PhotoGrid_1518590392703I believe that a floor rug is an essential addition to any room. And I also believe that it’s something that you need to invest a good amount of money in. The rug in Harper’s room is from Perth business Oh Happy Home,¬†and I think is the perfect addition for this particular room and theme. Bright and colourful for kids and stylish and on trend to please adults like me as well. I think this particular design is perfectly suited to both a kids room or a living space for people who want to make an on trend space suitable for kids. To layer the floor, I’ve chosen to add a rainbow spotted play mat from My Mila And Me. And I’ve popped it under Harper’s canopy which makes a great little play and reading space for her to use for many years into the future.

PhotoGrid_1518658377879Every room needs a few key feature pieces. Larger items which catch the eye and compliment the smaller items. Of course, the floor rug from Oh Happy Home is one of these major pieces. As is the giant floor cushion from Sugarcane Trading Co. Both items which are great investment pieces that will last for years and can still be used as the kids grow. Another feature piece in the room is the large timber tree from Happee Trees. Both a functional and decorative piece, the tree is a great addition to the room as it adds some height and the natural beige tone breaks up the colour throughout the room nicely. The trees are available in 2 sizes (this is the large) and in an array of beautiful colours too. Another item used to add a level of height to the room is the timber ruler height chart from Drip Designs Studio. The detail and quality of painting on this piece is amazing! It really is a fantastic addition to the room and something we will cherish as the kids grow.

PhotoGrid_1518680318074Every little girl needs a pretty lamp in her room. And the gorgeous love heart one from Livly which Harper received is just beautiful. Not only does it output a bright white light when on, it’s a gorgeous piece in itself even when it’s off. I adore this piece for the room as it’s something I think Harper can keep with her from her baby years through to her adult ones. Another light up item in the room is the gorgeous personalised night-light from Bright Star Kids. It omits just the right amount of light which is perfect for helping a little one get to sleep. These are available in a range of other gorgeous colours and designs as well.

PhotoGrid_1518690575388I decided to keep the bedding simple as we all know its pointless to layer a kids bed with cushions and throw blankets which are going to be thrown on the floor multiple times a day by your darling child. So I chose instead to use some gorgeous linen for Harper’s room. A beautiful hand-made fitted cot sheet from Princess Panda Pants Co. The colourful hot air balloon print is absolutely adorable and ties in perfectly with the pops of colour throughout the rest of the room. To add more fun, I’ve used an island themed quilt cover from Eco Downunder which is neutral and breaks up the colour nicely whilst still being eye-catching with its beach design. Something I have done with both my kids, is instead of buying a cot sized quilt, I always have a single insert and buy single sized covers which I fold in half and tuck around the mattress. Then when the kids transfer to a single bed, they can still use the same bedding and I don’t have to buy new ones.

 

 

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Toys. What would a room be without toys? My favorite has to be wooden ones. Gorgeous to look at. And style with. Whilst of course being fun to play with as well.¬† The bright colours of these toys are already appealing to Harper. I see her eyeing them off up on the Vivid Styling Illusion Shelves already. She already loves playing with the blocks and Bambi wheelie. For all the details on the wooden toys, see the list of involved businesses at the end of the blog. As much as I like wooden toys, I did have to think of Harper and include some soft toys for her to play with now. I can be a bit fussy with toys. I like ones which look good and that the PhotoGrid_1518658710016kids will actually play with often. The Lamaze range by Tomy Australia ticks both those boxes. Since adding a few items from their range in to Harper’s room, I often find her and Jack in there playing with them. Their favorite is the Octotunes musical octopus. It’s my favorite too. Each leg make a different toned tune when squeezed. I’ve mastered twinkle twinkle little star on it already ūüėĀ Where to store these toys? In a personalised wooden toy box from LePetit Cadre of course! The combination of raw timber and white works perfectly against the colour in the toys. I love that these boxes are on wheels so are each to move to another room if needed. And also that they are personalised with your child’s name on the side.

PhotoGrid_1518590953477As Harper’s room is only quite small, I decided to create a mini gallery wall containing an array of colourful artworks rather than spreading them out all over the room. This way, the room looks neat and all of the prints together create a focal point. I combined prints in white frames (*tip. I remove the glass from the frames to make them lighter to hang¬†and safer as well), with some natural pieces like the timber name plaque and natural quote wall decor from Home Mind Soul. Just to break up the colour and add in that natural element that the room needs to calm the brightness. I’ve also added a pop of red with a bee wall decal from Moonface Studio. You can see the others from the set above the shelf on the other side of the room. A giant floor cushion from Sugarcane Trading Co under the gallery wall makes the perfect little area to lay and read a book. See list at the end of the blog to find out where all of these amazing prints are from.

PhotoGrid_1518610784436Of course, I had to include some DIY in the room. The space already contained a white canopy which I didn’t want to part with. So to brighten it up and tie it in with the rest of the room, I sewed on some multi coloured felt balls. Sewing was time-consuming and in all honesty, fabric glue probably would have been an easier option. The end result is great though and the softness of the white fabric with the pops of colour really adds a whimsical and fun vibe to the room. I wanted to include a table and chair set in the room so that both the kids had an area to colour, craft, do puzzles etc. We had an existing Kmart 3 piece set which was a bit worse for ware, but a quick sand back and a few coats of paint, and it was looking brand new. I used some non toxic, eco-friendly paint from small business Colourfied. Their range is affordably priced and¬†perfect for allergy sufferers, asthmatics and chemically sensitive people. A perfect paint choice for a kids room and an amazing colour range to choose from. From pretty, soft pastels through to bright hues like I have used.

 

 

Of course, the kids needed some colourful items to use on their newly painted table and chair set. The lovely team At Bright Star Kids sent Harper her own personalised colouring book, textas and puzzle. These items are perfect for at home and later in life at school. To store the textas, a beautiful handmade pencil-case from Poppy And The Wolf and some fun plastic dino/animal planters from When Cara Met Rex, which I have used as a pencil holder (also great for toothbrushes!). To break up the colourful elements and add in some natural, I’ve popped some gorgeous items from amazing Australian small business Rhi Creative. Their kids play cards are fantastic for kids play with and learn at the same time. And their school days book so perfect for jotting down all the special moments from when your kids start school. They also have a matching baby book which is just as special.

IMG_20180213_202024_638At just 9 months old, Harper is a strong and stubborn little girl. She’s walking and exploring and now she has her own wonderland to keep her growing mind entertained. I want to say a huge thank you to all of the businesses involved in creating this room. It is exactly what I envisioned and more. And a true reflection of my colourful and strong willed little girl. I wanted to show that using colour in a kids room can be fun. And I don’t think you could get any more colour or fun in between these four walls! Make sure you keep your eyes on my Instagram page as over the next week I’ll be featuring all of the businesses involved. Some who are sharing a special discount code for my followers.

Zoe РThe DIY Decorator