FLOORING INSTALL WITH ATROGUARD

Real Estate Before Photo’s

When we purchased our 90’s home here in Perth almost 6 years ago, one thing I didn’t like about it was the flooring. Grey tiles in the main living areas and orange toned laminate flooring in the bedrooms. I longed for matching floors throughout and something more warm and inviting so I would no longer need the 16 floors rugs scattered around the house that my poor husband despised so. 2022 was the year that my longing was no more! The year that we took on our largest home DIY to date and installed AtroGuard laminate flooring throughout our single storey 4×2, 158 square metre home.

SELECTING THE FLOORING

Starting the selection process for a renovation or new build can be overwhelming. Even as an Interior decorator with 17 years experience, I still find making selections stressful as there’s just so many products out there to choose from! So when when first started looking at laminate floor options, I began by scouring Pinterest and Instagram to see what others had in their homes. I quickly realised that I was drawn to American style homes which had oversized boards and more rustic style timber looks for their floors. I also knew that I wanted a finish that was very neutral and wouldn’t throw any yellow or orange tones. And so, the design we settled on was from the stunning Aquasmart Whitsundays range in finish ‘Hamilton Oak‘. Using the Atroguard floor visualizer tool on their website, we were able to upload images of our home to sample the finish before committing to it which was very handy. The colour is a beautiful grey/brown and even though was a finish I didn’t think I would go with at the start of this selection journey, it really has ended up even better than I could have ever imagined and is the perfect flooring for our home.

ATROGUARD AQUASMART

Flooring. Check ✔️ A colour I knew would go with existing finishes, furnishings and decor pieces in our home, and a size that I absolutely love!! At 238mm wide x 1800mm long, these boards are big! As in taller than my 6ft husband big! Using larger boards means less joins/lines which gives the illusion of more space, making the rooms look larger which is something I really wanted for this house. And at 12mm thick, the boards are super stable, supportive and of amazing quality. Unlike some laminate flooring, there is no flex in these planks which makes them easy to handle, cut and install. Some of the other features that ticked the box with the Atroguard AquaPlank® flooring for us are:

  • Easy to install V groove locking system
  • Water resistant for up to 24 hrs. Can be wet mopped
  • Impacts indent, stain, scratch, slip, fire, wear & fade resistant
  • AC4 commercial grade quality
  • Ultra stable core giving 60% more stability
  • Lifetime residential warranty (12 years light commercial)
  • Eco friendly – 0% plastic

TO DIY OR NOT TO DIY

I wouldn’t be The DIY Decorator if I didn’t install the flooring myself right?! Getting someone in to install our flooring would save us a lot of time, yes. But it’s quite a cost and one that we didn’t want to outlay. Although we had limited flooring installation experience, we were confident that we could successfully complete the job. Previously to this project I had installed laminate flooring when I did my shed-to-studio makeover and the flooring in the kids cubby house. Both small spaces and a different type of flooring, but it gave me the general idea of what was involved in the DIY flooring process. And my husband has experience in kitchen installation so is handy on the tools and good with the tricky measurements. So between us both, we worked our way through the installation process. We took our time. Learnt as we went. Made mistakes. Cried a little when they were bad ones… BUT, we got it done!

As we were extremely lucky that our existing flooring was level and in excellent condition, we were able to leave it in place and go straight over with the new flooring. This cut out the cost and mess involved in removing tiles which is such a huge job! The AquaPlank® flooring is perfect for this style of flooring project, being able to be installed over existing hard flooring.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

We started out with pretty much none of the tools required for this project and slowly gained them as we went. So if you are looking at undertaking your own flooring install, here’s what you will need:

If you are leaving the existing skirting as we did, you will need something to cover the gap around the edges between the ends of the boards and skirtings. We used quarter round painted white to match the skirting. Or you could use scotia. For this, you’ll need liquid nails and nails to hold it in place.

INSTALL PROCESS

The first step obviously is emptying the space. Living in the home and having to move 6 years worth of items in and out of every space, along with the house being in a trashed state for weeks was honestly the toughest part of this project for me!! #OCD. If you can do this project prior to moving in to your home, I would highly recommend! Once your room is empty, it’s cleaning time. The existing flooring needs to be dirt, grime, bacteria free before installing the new flooring as you don’t want any nasties trapped in between the two layers which can lead to issues down the track. Using a RubberMaid Reveal Power Scrubber with grout cleaning attachment, I spent a weekend giving the tiles, grout and area around skirtings a really good clean. I then mopped using a disinfectant floor cleaner and vacuumed the space.

Next up, underlay. This needs to cover the entire area where the laminate flooring is being installed. Note that you can not overlap this otherwise your flooring will not be level. We found it handy to masking tape the lengths of underlay together to stop any movement while laying the planks on top. And then begins the laying of the planks. We started at the furtherest left point at the front of the house which was our master bedroom. From there we went forward and right until each room was done. You can not work backwards with this flooring so this is the best way to do it. It’s very important to ensure that you leave a 10mm gap using spacers (provided in the flooring installation kit) between the wall and the flooring allow for expansion.

When it came to the layout of the boards, we didn’t use a specific pattern but it was my job during the process to keep an eye on the individual boards pattern repeat (I think there was 5 patterns for the Hamilton Oak design) so that the same boards weren’t beside each other. We laid whole boards when we could, making sure ends didn’t meet aide by side. This process of laying the boards is simply measure, cut, install. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The boards themselves are super easy to cut with the sliding mitre saw. And clipping them in is just as easy. It’s simply a matter locking the boards together by dropping the second plank into the first planks grooved edge and gently tapping down the end with a rubber mallet so it firmly locks in place. These areas where it’s straight laying, are super quick and easy! It’s when you get up to a door frame or up against a walls that it gets trickier and you need to use your noggin a bit more…

When we got up to door frames, we couldn’t cheat and cut the frame itself to slide the board under as some people do, as we have metal door frames. Not timber. So we had to cut around the door frames. There’s no fun or easy way to do this. It’s probably the hardest part of the project for an amateur floor installer. I’m sure the professionals who do it all the time find it easy. Mind you, the existing laminate flooring in the bedrooms were quite dodgily cut and my husbands cuts/gaps were a lot neater and tighter! It’s simply a matter of measuring the shape of the frame, drawing that shape on to the board and cutting with a jigsaw. We did try the popular (but not exactly professional…) DIY template hack we saw on Instagram. Which did actually work, but I would suggest using it as a guide and still double checking your measurements before cutting.

Once all the boards were down, we filled any gaps around door frames with silicone. We went with a grey to blend in with the flooring. And we then covered the 10mm edge gaps with the white pre-painted quarter round/skirting. We also added in transition strips between the new flooring areas and bathroom which we didn’t install the boards over so were different levels. We used ripple roberts for a smooth transition between the floorings. And lastly we had to trim the internal doors to fit over the 12mm plank as the underlay which were removed at the beginning of the project. We did this with the jigsaw. And that was it! A whole new look for our home that we can proudly say we achieved ourselves. With my husband working away, it did take us a few weeks to complete the project but we really enjoyed chipping away at it and seeing the results form before our eyes!

Would we tackle a project like this again? Absolutely! 1000% worth it. Do we wish we had hired someone to install it for us? No. We know we saved a bundle doing it ourselves and can now use that $$$ to go towards other home projects. Are we happy with the Atroguard AquaPlank flooring? Extremely happy! We are blown away by the quality of it. The beautiful look and finish of the Hamilton Oak design. And the ease of installation. We know it’s added not only to the visuals of our home, but the value of it too.

For stockists of the Atroguard AquaPlank flooring range, head to the Signature Floors website for stockist store locations, Australia wide. These retailers can quote for your project and answer and other queries you may have about this range. To follow along with our install process, head over to my Instagram page highlights.

Home Styling With Poster Store

Wall decoration. The perfect pieces to start your decorating journey with and take inspiration from. Or a way to give a finished space an instant update or new look without blowing your budget. Whether it’s an art or photo print, canvas or decorative wall hanging, visual elements on our walls can help dictate which other items to incorporate in to a room with them. From them you can take the colour, texture and pattern and repeat them via other elements within the space including soft furnishings, floor rugs and decor pieces to create a harmonious and flowing interior. Using artwork or photography also helps to tell a story and set the overall scheme and style of a space, so selecting the right ones is a key point to interior decorating. Recently I updated my wall art in a space within my own home using prints from Poster Store to give it a fresh new look and compliment some other new additions in there which I’ll share more about below. Poster Store carry a wide range of prints and posters, as well as beautiful frames to pop them in. So if you are looking for new wall art, make sure your check out their extensive range! *I also have a 55% off discount code for you to use as well at the end of this blog.

SELECTING THE ART

Once you have established your wall decoration budget, your next decision is size. You art should be in proportion not only to the wall it’s on, but also with the furnishings it’s accompanying. For larger walls, you can opt for a large poster, or multiple smaller prints as I have done. Select designs that you are instantly attracted to. Use the save tool on the Poster Store website ❤ to gather some options. Then once you have a few, view them all side by side to see which ones work best together and for the space they will be used in. When it came to selecting my prints, I wanted to bring in more brown tones to the space so I browsed and saved designs that fit that brief. I then narrowed down to 4 prints that worked well together and in my existing timber frames which I think tie in perfectly in this area.

SELECTING THE FRAME

The print or poster is the main star, yes. But selecting a frame to accompany it is just as important! The style of your frame should reflect your interior style. Straight edge and sleek for a modern interior and more ornate designs for period or more eclectic style homes. Also consider the width of the frame. Thicker frames create more of a statement where thinner ones and more subtle and and let the contained art be the hero. When it comes to colour, it can be a personal preference, or sometimes the artwork itself calls for a particular toned frame. Most commonly our choices are timber, black, white and metallic. I like to add warmth to my own home so opt for timber and metallic frames which compliment my natural style artworks and surrounding decor pieces.

TO HANG OR NOT TO HANG

Does art always need to be hung? Absolutely not! Leaning prints on top of furniture pieces or even on the floor can look fantastic and is a great way to display framed pieces and fill spots around the home. It’s also a popular option for renters who may not be able to hang any wall decoration. Using smaller frames and prints sat upon bedside tables as I have done below is a great way to bring in a decorative element whist still leaving space to use the table top for use. The pop of metallic of the Poster Store gold frame breaks up the ither natural elements nicely. This works well with a single frame, or with frames of different sizes layered together as well.

Poster Store have kindly given me a 55% discount code to pass on to my audience which is for a limited time only so get in quick! Simply use code ‘55ZOE‘ at checkout between June 20-27th to apply your discount. Discount applies to all posters excluding selection posters & frames and is not combinable with other discount campaigns.

FEATURED POSTER STORE PIECES:

Dining Room Styling With Interior Secrets

Our dining rooms are one of the most used spaces in our homes so it’s important that it’s a functional space that suits you and your families needs. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be an amazing looking space though! With thanks to my friends at Interior Secrets, who have a huge range of stunning dining room pieces, today I will be sharing my tips on what to consider when selecting your furniture and decor pieces when tackling this space within your own home.

SCALE – The most important factor when selecting your dining room furnishings is selecting the correct sized furniture pieces for the space. You don’t want to be squishing a beautiful big dining table in to a tiny space and vice versa, using a tiny dining setting which ends up looking lost in a large open plan or larger room. Accommodate for the room size you have. If it’s a smaller room, all you really need is a dining table and chairs. Interior Secrets have some beautiful 4 seater tables that are perfect for smaller spaces.

COMFORT – Nobody likes to sit on an uncomfortable dining chair or bar stool. But in saying that, we all have different varieties of seating preference and what we individually consider comfortable or suitable for a dining chair: Upholstered chairs for ultimate comfort. A higher backed chair for those who like more support. Timber or plastic chairs that are easy to clean for people with young children. These are all factors to take in to account when selecting your dining chairs. Don’t just choose them for looks alone or you’ll find yourself eating dinner on the couch… Also factor in if they are the correct height for the accompanying table – will the arms fit under/do the chair legs interfere with the table legs etc.

STORAGE – Who doesn’t love a bit of extra storage around the home!? If you have the space in the dining room, it can be great to add in a storage piece or two to accommodate not only dining related items, but pieces from around the house that don’t have a home too. This can be something as small as a bar cart or bar cabinet (great for storing non-alcohol related items in too!) Or something larger like a sideboard, buffet or console table. These type of pieces can add so much to a space both visually and functionally. And of course, they allow you to bring in more decor items such as artwork, lamps and homewares to the space to accompany them. If your dining room is on the smaller size but you would still like some storage within the space, consider adding in some floating shelves or wall mounted storage.

DECOR – Many people are unsure to what decorative items are needed in a dining area. My focus when designing a high use area like dining spaces is the furniture, so I prefer to keep the decor to a minimal. For the dining table, a simple centrepiece with something like a vase of flowers or plant, salt & pepper shakers and a scented candle sitting on a tray is the perfect table accompaniment. Are cushions and throws required in a dining space? I think if you have built in bench seats, sure. But in reality, a throw and cushion on a dining chair is just something to move out of the way for each meal sitting so isn’t necessary. Another item people are unsure of incorporating in to the dining room are floor rugs. This is 100% a personal choice and there is no right or wrong. If you have smaller kids, maybe avoid a rug for now or consider a cheaper alternative. *Tip: indoor/outdoor rugs work well in dining spaces are they are easier to clean. If you are considering a rug, opt for something with a mottled look or a pattern to hide any accidental spills. And ensure your rug is the correct size: it should be larger than your dining setting when the chairs are pushed in.

For more dining room inspiration and style ideas, head to the Interior Secrets website to view their best selling dining room furniture pieces.

DOOR HARDWARE UPGRADE WITH LEMAAR

Often during the home renovation process it’s the smaller detail upgrades that can make a big impact to your project. Case in point, the recent internal and external door hardware upgrades using products from Lemaar that I installed in my own home.

Our house was built in the late 90’s and is a pretty stock-standard build. No fancy tap ware or door handles which would have been a decision made by the original home owners to save some dollars at the time. Fast forward 20 years later, and no longer must we have to settle for cheaply made, standard design items just to fit within the budget. But instead we are spoilt for choice with quality and affordable pieces for our home which can instantly add both character and a sense of luxe to a home.

Lemaar door hardware is an Australian owned business and leader in door hardware across Australia. They are a trusted brand with not only builders and architects, by DIYers like myself too. Their hardware range which is designed in Australia, consists of both classic and on-trend designs which are available in a variety of finishes including brushed brass and black. With entry and passage sets plus privacy handles, the Lemaar range is a great option if you are simply updating one door, or wanting to upgrade and match your entire household door hardware.

When it came to installing both the Lemaar entry and passage sets in our home, we were on our L plates not having changed door hardware before ourselves. But we were pleasantly surprised when both sets were super quick and easy to change over from our existing hardware. To see just how easy, you can view a video of the installation of the Lemaar Almeri entry set in brushed brass on my Instagram here. And the installation of the Almeri passage set in brushed brass here.

We are so happy with both the look and quality feel of the new hardware and love how much it has added to our otherwise plain and boring doors. While upgrading the interior door handles, we also decided to add even more character by DIYing our own door moulding which compliments the new brushed brass additions perfectly. Find that project here.

The Lemaar range can be found at leading hardware retailers.

Bed Making 101 – Part Two

If you were a reader of last week’s blog, you would know that we covered bed making and my tips and tricks for creating an eye catching and cosy bed by using the right bedding pieces. If you missed it, you can read here. This week, thanks to Manchester Collection, we move on to my favorite part of the bed; the layers. The pretty pieces that our other halves hate removing at the end of each day. But the ones that take a bed from bland to beautiful every time!!

To answer the age old question can you really ever have too many cushions, the answer from a professional decorator is no. No you can not! (Your partner may disagree…tell them you heard otherwise from a professional😉). Whether it’s 1, 3 or 5 cushions on your bed, in my opinion it really is a personal choice to how many you prefer on your bed. And how many you like to put on and take off your bed each day. If you are looking for on-trend, quality cushions which and super affordable, check out the great range from Manchester Collection.

Don’t think you should only use throw blanket during the cooler months. Layer your bed with thinner fabric or smaller throws during spring and summer so that your bed is still looking great without adding too much warmth. If you are wanting a throw that is big enough to spill over the edges of your bed, but don’t have the budget to purchase a larger sized one, a great tip that I like to use is using a sheet as a throw. (Linen sheets especially work well for this). Simply fold in half and drape across the end of your bed, or throw in a more messy/relaxed manner over it.

Beautiful cushion options from Manchester Collection

My tips for choosing the layering pieces for your bed are:

  • Consider a valance. Something considered daggy for awhile there, but these days there are some really beautiful valance designs which really add to a layered look of a bed and instantlygive it a more luxe look.
  • European cushions are great for adding in layers and create more of a luxe look. Using two behind pillow works great, or for more of a casual look, try one only.
  • Use varying sized cushions together. A 50x50cm, 45x35cm and a rectangle cushion ( or similar sizing) is a popular trio to try on your bed.
  • Also consider using other shapes than square. A round cushion to break up the squareness of a bed always looks great. Also consider lumbar or bulstar cushion for something a bit different.
  • My favourite cushion combo is a larger solid coloured cushion paired with a smaller patterned or textured cushion and a rectangle or round cushion.
  • Using a throw blanket either folded or thrown over the end of the bed adds some interest to the end while being a functional piece for extra cosiness too.
  • Tie your throws and cushions together by repeated tones and textures to create a cohesive look. Take inspiration from your quilt cover or artwork and decor items within the room.
  • During the cooler months, consider using multiple throws. One folded and draped over your bed paired with another casually thrown over the end not only gives you more warmth, but looks great as well. Manchester Collection have some great throws suitable for a variety of interior styles which you can find here.

Oslo slate quilt cover. Available in queen/King/Super king.

Ivy white quilt cover set. Available in queen/King/Super king.

Cushions from Manchester Collection.

Bed Making 101

One of my most asked questions as an interior decorator is how do I style a bed? It’s something that I think many people overthink and so avoid trying. Really, there is no right or wrong when it comes bed making. My motto when decorating your home in general, if you love it, it’s right! It is your home after all! Dress and layer up your bed as much as you like, or pair it back and keep it simple if you don’t have the time or energy put in the time to fully style it each day. For those who really are lost when it comes to what to use to dress your bed, thanks to Manchester Collection today I’ll be sharing my bed making 101 tips and tricks to consider to help it be more of a fun task rather than a chore.

Using the right products. Before we even start on the “pretties”, it’s important to spend a moment, and some dollars, on pieces like your mattress, quilt, pillows etc. We spend a third of our life in our beds so quality pieces are worth the investment! Quality bedding instantly adds softness and height to a bed, so if you can, buy the best you can afford. My go to for an always fluffy looking bed is a high loft quilt insert. Another tip for an extra cosy look, is to double your quilts (or layer a coverlet over your quilt). Especially cosy during the cooler months!

Upsizing to create an instant Luxe look. Often when using the correct sized bedding on a bed, the sides are still exposed. Upsizing to the next size up bedding (king bedding on a queen sized bed etc) covers the sides and gives the bed a lush, hotel style look. For people with king sized beds, it can often be hard to find on-trend and quality super king bedding to upsize to to achieve this look. But check out Manchester Collection who have some great super king options available.

Choosing the right quilt cover. The quilt set is the star of the show on a bed. And because it takes up the majority of the area, we want to select it first and then choose the other/smaller bedding pieces to accompany and compliment it. If choosing a quilt cover is an overwhelming task, consider the following:

  • Start with a solid coloured quilt cover which is easier to style up and can usually be paired with numerous colour schemes and patterns.
  • If you aren’t ready to commit to pattern just yet, consider a textured of quilted cover to add depth and interest.
  • Go with a colour you love. Not just what is on trend or what you are seeing in catalogue and magazines.
  • Take inspiration from other tones, textures and patterns in your room and repeat them in your quilt cover for cohesive look.
  • If you like to change up your bedroom look often but don’t want to purchase lots of quilt covers, stick with a neutral set (white, black, grey, beige etc) so you can simply change up your cushions and/or throws to create a whole new bedding look.

Sheet selecting. When it comes to sheets, many of us usually choose white which is a smart and safe idea because as we all know, white goes with everything! But also because it provides a place where your eye can rest once you start layering on color, prints, and patterns, helping to break up other bedding elements used. A white or a solid coloured sheet works well if you are using a patterned quilt cover. Pattern on pattern can be a lot on a bed, especially for a space like a bedroom which calls from calm. But don’t let that discourage you from using pattern all together! Pair a patterned quilt cover with plain sheets that compliments the pattern, folding the top sheet back over the top of the quilt to break up the pattern. Or switch and add a bold patterned sheet to a plain quilt cover to jazz it up and add some interest in a more subtle way. Check out the range of Manchester Collection sheet sets here.

Stay tuned next week for part two of my bed making blog where I discuss how to select your layering pieces to accompany your quilt cover and finish your bed.

Manchester Collection bedding featured:

Oslo slate quilt cover. Available in queen/King/Super king.

Ivy white quilt cover set. Available in queen/King/Super king.

STYLING WITH ART PRINTS

One of easiest ways to give an interior space a whole new look is by introducing new wall art. And one of the most cost effective ways to do this is by framing art prints yourself. We are spoilt for choice these days with affordable frame options, as well as having art prints available to us at the touch of a button online. One of my favorite online art print stores which I have used in my own home, as well as for clients, is Desenio. With an extraordinary range of on-trend prints to suit a large variety of interior styles, they have an abundance of high quality prints available in a range of sizes, which are very budget friendly!

Today I am going to show you how I have introduced some new Desenio prints that I framed and hung myself in my own home, and give you guys some tips to consider when hanging art prints in your own home. There’s even a generous discount code for you to use at the end of this blog so if you are chasing new art, now is the time 🙌

STATEMENT ART

There is something to be said for the simplicity of one large piece on the wall instead of several small ones. Whether it’s a large piece on it’s own on a blank wall, or filling an empty space above a furniture piece, using a statement art piece instantly creates a wow factor to a room.

If there’s already a lot going on in a space, as there is with this area of my daughters room above, using one larger art print helps to give the space some focus. On the opposite side of this room is a vintage patterned floral wallpaper (see previous blog) which is very bold and eye catching. So to balance with it on this side of this room above the desk, I’ve stuck with the floral and pink style, but have chosen this softer design art print which compliments rather than competes with the wallpaper. Framing it in a light timber frame adds warmth and ties in well with the other wood elements within the space.

GALLERY WALL

Gallery walls continue to be a popular choice for displaying both photos and wall art. They are a great way to fill a wall and add a focal point to a space and can be as large or small as you want them to be!

My son has an ocean themed room which consists of various blue tones and neutral textures. So for the wall beside his bed, I wanted to add some interest and continue the sea theme with some ocean style art prints from the Desenio range. Combining the photo prints with a quote print and a drawn art piece tells the story of the ocean theme while adding depth and interest. I decided to use different sized prints to give a more casual look which I feel works well in a kids space as apposed to frames of all the same size which caters for a more modern and sleek style. When it came to the layout of the frames, I hung the largest one first, followed by the medium then small prints to ensure they were balanced and worked together the wall space. I did use all timber frames though to give some uniformity and balance.

PERFECT PAIR

For me, the artwork is the starting point for decorating a room once the furniture selectionshave been made. After selecting the art, I like to pull tones, textures and pattern from it and repeat via decorative items and soft furnishings to create a cohesive space that flows. You can see how this process works via the images of my master bedroom above. Repeating the beautiful green and brown tones, along with natural textures in the bedding and surrounding items creates an inviting and visually pleasing space.

Using a set of matching prints like I have here is a great way to create a statement in a space as an alternative to using one large art piece. A perfect pair can differ but should compliment one another in some way, be it a repeated tone, texture or pattern.

The Desenio team have kindly given me a discount code to pass on to you guys to use on the extensive art prints range. Simply use code DIYDECORATOR25 for 25% off prints* Get in quick as this code is only valid from Oct 5th-7th. *excludes frames, handpicked/personalised prints.

FEATURED ARTWORK

Harper’s Room

  • Bed of flowers (70x100cm)

Jack’s room

  • Nature creation (70x100cm)
  • Sails on the surface (50x70cm)
  • Whales (21x30cm)
  • Ocean quote (old print)

Master bedroom

  • Rustic olive branch (50x70cm)
  • Detailed olive branch (50x70cm)
  • Charming Home (50x70cm)
  • Concrete leaves (50x70cm)

Harper’s Pink Room Makeover

IMG_6874-01My daughter Harper is SUCH a girly girl! As in loves pink, shoes, clothes, dolls, princesses tutu’s etc. I don’t know where she gets it from and have no idea whose child she actually is, as I am the total opposite! She is almost 3 (going on 13) and has lately been telling me she wants a pink room. Even picking out her own pink paint samples when we are in the paint section at our local Bunnings. Unable to deny that little face, and always keen for a room makeover, I decided that a pink bedroom project was on the cards!

PhotoGrid_1579594883647As our home is quite neutral and full of timbers and natural items, I wanted to make sure some of these elements were featured in Harper’s room to help it flow. Instead of using a bright or pastel pink, I opted for a darker dusty pink which would give the room a more vintage feel. Choosing the right tone took a little while, but I settled on Dulux Evening Blush. To continue on with the vintage style, I decided to do half the wall painted in the blush pink, and the other half wall papered. Boho Art & Styling have a great range of removable wall papers that are super easy to install and being a brand I’ve worked with before, I was keen to try out their range. I chose a design called ‘Boho Blooms’ is a beautiful floral design which incorporates soft pinks and browns and is a real statement piece while remaining soft and feminine.

After painting the top half of the wall with three coats of the evening blush, I put up the wall paper. I have to admit that it was far easier to install than I thought it would be! It literally took me 15 minutes on my own to apply the 4 panels to the bottom half of the wall. Each panel is was cut to size and numbered, so it was simply a matter of lining them up on the wall. To finish the feature wall, I used a Porta Timber rail from Bunnings to cover where the paint and wallpaper met. I left the rail as is (raw timber), as it worked well with the vintage look. However, it could have easily painted or stained as an alternative. I used liquid nails to stick the rail to the wall. Holding it in place with masking tape overnight until the glue was dry. When it came to decorating this wall, I kept it very simple due to the pattern of the wallpaper. Hanging a natural rattan mirror from Nook Lifestyle & Living, and custom name print from Boho Art & Styling, hung in a frame from Spotlight.

As Harper plays on the floor of her room quite a lot, I wanted to add in a large floor rug which filled most of the floor space in the room. I went with a 200x290cm rug from Urban Rugs in the design Saffron Kansas, pink. It is a is super lush and soft floor rug that works nicely in the space. The majority of the rug is white which I felt the room needed, being that there’s a lot of pink in there. The soft pink criss-cross pattern amongst the white is just the right amount of colour to tie it in with the other items in the room. The quality of this rug is amazing and having it really helps to finish the room and pull it all together.

I really wanted to add a block out blind to the space as the curtains that were in there didn’t fit with the new scheme and also let in a lot of sunlight. We installed a fantastic custom blind from Blinds In Print which is a fun way to add in some colour and pattern to a room via a practical piece. Before settling on a design, I requested a few samples from Blinds In Print so I could make sure whichever design I chose didn’t clash with the other finishes on the space, and suited the overall look. The design I went with is Clapham Weave in Peach. It’s a beautiful muted pink tone that really works well with both the wall colour and wallpaper. The small detail of the dot pattern works beautifully in to the space. Its a subtle pattern which is a statement but doesnt dirstract from other pieces in the room. Ordering the blind via the Blinds In Print website was really easy. Simply entering in the required dimensions for the blind and picking your design. Installing them was just as easy, with my husband having it up within ten minutes. We chose this blind to be hung over top of the window so that less light would show. Although not as streamline and neat as a blind recessed inside a window frame, it is more practical for a bedroom. *A week after installing the blind, and Miss Harper has been sleeping in later. Proof that a block-out blind is worth investing in!!!

Another important addition to Harper’s room is of course the Scalloped Chantal Occasional Chair I collaborated on with Luxo Living (more stock and new colour options coming soon!). The pink design is perfect for Harper’s room as it is a piece that will grow with her and she can use for years to come. Another new item that I added to the room is the $35 poly-rattan shopping buggy from Target. A cute piece that Harper loves to play with and looks great in her new vintage style, pink palace. I also added the Kmart hacked planter stand which I turned in to a dolls bed (find here).

  • Bedding, Adairs (old) find similar here.
  • Pink throw, Spotlight.
  • Cane bed head, gum tree find.
  • Bedside table, Ecosa.
  • Large framed print, Boho Art Styling.
  • Table lamp, Kmart.
  • Pespex shelves, find similar here.
  • Chest of drawers, Fantstic Furniture.
  • Pink suitcases storage, Bianca Design.
  • Dolls house, DIY project. Find here.
  • If  you would like to know where anything else in the room is from, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or my social media platforms.

I am so happy with the overall result. For such a small room, we managed to add a lot of pink. A lot of girly detail. However, using the more vintage style not only works well with the rest of our home, but is also a space that Harper loves now and is sure to love as she grows older too. It’s a space that won’t need updating any time soon as it has everything a girl needs. As I write this, Miss Harper is currently playing in there with her doll house, chatting away having a great time! She spends so much more time in there now and really enjoys the space. That makes me as both a mum and interior decorator very happy!

PhotoGrid_1538046700100

 

 

 

 

Zoe Gilpin
The DIY Decorator

Entry Styling With Willow & Wood

Mudroom; A small room or entryway where footwear and outer clothes can be removed before entering a house. 

PhotoGrid_1568523177159Mudrooms are something that we are seeing a lot more of in Australian homes, and in ones that aren’t necessarily the traditional farm house style. When we think of a mudroom, we often think of large built in cabinetry either located at the entry of a home or perhaps in the laundry. Scour pinterest and you’ll find that most images containing a mud room are in American homes, and one’s that are quite grand and fall more in to the line of traditional interior styles. But at the moment, browse any Australian home magazine or the social media accounts of some well known stylists, and you will spot mudrooms being used in homes of many interior styles.

a71302a5039bee966d14d8624a89fcd9So what exactly what is a mudroom? And what does it contain? Mudrooms are area’s of the home where you can pop your bits and pieces as you enter it. The perfect place to hang your handbag, sit down and remove your shoes and chuck them neatly out of the way. Having an area like this is especially handy when you have kids. By removing their dirty shoes, wet jackets and hats and leaving them by the front door, it stops them trailing the mess through your home. As I mentioned previously, mudrooms can be large and grand. However, if you have a standard sized home like mine, you can add in a simple bench to sit on, as well as adding a few baskets under the bench to pop shoes in. Hang a coat rack on the wall above it to give you somewhere to neatly store bags and coats. It’s so simple to create these areas in your home with just a few furniture pieces.

PhotoGrid_1568523313025Enter Willow & Wood. An Australian small business based in Melbourne. Owner and ‘head furniture chick‘ Rebecca created her first piece 25 years ago with help from her dad. A piece she still has today which has lasted the test of time due to it being built with love and made to last. Rebecca continues to carry this philosophy in to every piece created and sold via her business. All of the pieces are designed by the family owned business to be quality, timeless pieces that are both functional and decorative. To view their extensive range of beautiful timber pieces, which are not only perfect to use in entries and mudrooms but other areas in the home such as bedrooms and bathrooms as well, head here to their online store.

Using four pieces from the Willow & Wood range, I have created both a mudroom space in our entry, as well as using some pieces from their range in two room within our house. Our home was built in the late 90’s and is a very stock standard design which lacks character. The walls are square and gyprock. The overall design of the house is very basic. So to give it life and create interest, I’ve had to add the character in to it myself. Adding something like a mudroom to the entry of the house brings in some life with the addition of warm timber and eye catching pieces.

IMG_5498-01The entry space to our home is basically one wall. So I had to make sure that whatever went there wasn’t in the way upon entering. In the past I’ve had floating shadow boxes and framed prints on the wall which looked great but wasn’t overly functional. So by adding in the Country Farm Bench as well as the Recycled Timber Hooks in white above it on the wall above it, I have created an area to hang my bag when I walk in to the home, as well as a place for us to sit and put shoes on or off as well. By adding a few decorative baskets to store shoes in, the space is now not only functional, but looks great as well. To finish the space, a small jute rug to wipe dirty shoes on before popping them in the baskets. For decoration, a simple dried floral arrangement hanging from one of the hooks to a pop of colour with greenery which is all the space needs to feel complete.

IMG_5440-01In our master bedroom, I used the French Country Bench at the end of the bed. As the room is quite large, I like to extend the bed and fill the space with the use of a bench. This design instantly brings character, charm and warmth to a room with the tone of the recycled timber and stunning crisscross sides. It again works as both a decorative and functional piece. The perfect place to sit and put your shoes on while getting ready, or somewhere to place clothes on at the end of a busy day. To match this piece is the Country Timber Hooks. Also made from a recycled timber, it is the perfect piece to accompany the bench seat, or is a stand out piece on its own. I have used ours as a decorative feature and somewhere to hang a hand towel and some decorative items from in our laundry. A piece which could also be used as a towel rack in a bathroom.

So when you enter your home via the front door or perhaps your laundry and don’t feel like that space is quite right, consider a mudroom. A practical and easy to install addition to any home that is not only functional, but can look amazing as well!

PhotoGrid_1538046700100

 

 

 

 

Zoe Gilpin – The DIY Decorator

Bistro Blind Installation

Bistro blinds are the perfect way to make your outdoor area a space that you can enjoy all year around, regardless of the weather. When we purchased our home in sunny Perth 3 years ago, we loved having a decent size patio area for us to enjoy, as well as the for the kids to use as a second play area. Anyone with kids knows that over those cooler months, they hate being cooped up inside and love to head outdoors to play with their toys and make general kid messes! So to save our interior, we decided to install bistro blinds to close in the space so that it could become an area for my husband and I to relax and entertain, as well as somewhere for the kids to play and make mess, any time of the year.

IMG_5371-01Cue my friends from Smart Home Products who I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few times now. Their products are quality, affordable items which are available from Bunnings, meaning they are accessible to pretty much anyone, anywhere across Australia. Having installed roller blinds from their Riva Blinds range, I was excited to now try their bistro blinds from their sister company, Bistro Blinds. Made from durable, heavy duty PVC, their blinds not only protect from the elements, but also maintain air flow and also add insulation to the home as well.

The order process with Bistro Blinds is super easy:

  • Measure up windows.
  • Take sizing into the special orders desk at Bunnings.
  • Fill out and sign cut form.
  • Bunnings will place the order and email the cut form through to manufacturer.
  • Warehouse cuts the blinds.
  • Warehouse package up the blinds.
  • Direct freight deliver them to the Bunnings store the order was placed with.
  • 7- 10 business day turn around.

PhotoGrid_1566891204233The range of bistro blinds are available in a range of finishes. We went with the clear blinds with white edging to go with our light, neutral colour scheme, and also so I can still see the kids when they were playing outside of the patio area. Once our blinds arrived, it was my turn (well, my husband’s turn) to do the work. With all the screws and hardware supplied with the blinds, installation was as simple as drilling in to the steel beams that the blinds were to hang from, and holding the blinds in place with the provided screws. Once hung, we then attached the base anchor plate to the brickwork base so that the blinds could be tied down with the attached straps. The final DIY was to drill in the holder for the excess rope. And that’s it! To hang the four blinds in total took us (I supervised) around 2 hours.

PhotoGrid_1566890913044During the cooler months, we will leave the blinds down to create a barrier from the weather, however in the summer when we want to let that cool afternoon sea breeze in, we can use the pulley system to roll up the blinds with ease. With our blind design, we installed four separate blinds which sit in between existing brick pillars. However, if you had a larger space which required multiple blinds to be hung together, they are available with a zip joiner which allows you to extend and connect your blinds for more enclosure around your outdoor area without placing them in between the pillars like we have.

IMG_5357-01For the entire project which was 4 separate blinds plus all of the included hardware, the total cost was just over $1100. That includes the initial blind cost, $99 cutting fee for each of them to make them a custom fit, plus the various sized trim extenders. A very reasonably priced project to enclose our patio area so that we can use it as an entertainment area and kids play area no matter the season.

PhotoGrid_1538046700100

 

 

 

 

Zoe Gilpin – The DIY Decorator