Using Scent When Decorating Your Home

IMG_20190216_112430_436Something I really love is walking in to a room where a smells grabs your attention, invites you in and and leaves you feeling refreshed. It’s no coincidence that this is the case as scent taps into our bodies and can make us feel at ease within a space. Scent is one of the most important senses and can help us become more creative, inspired, relaxed and even joyful. Adding scent to a space is a further layer to the decorating process, and I love the way it can quickly transform the atmosphere and mood of a whole room in just minutes.

It’s often the little details that add the most impact to a room. When I am decorating my own home or the home of a client, I always include a scented item. Even when I’m creating a mood board. Be it a candle, reed diffuser, scented soap, room/linen spray or electric diffuser. I feel that in order for a room to truly be complete, it needs to not only look beautiful, but smell beautiful as well. When decorating, it is a good idea to remember to please the human senses as it assists in creating an inviting, harmonious space. Include beautiful furnishings and home decor pieces for the eyes to view and textures for the fingers to touch. Even incorporating sound is something to consider when interior decorating as it creates a certain vibe to a space. Pleasing the nose and using scent is also very important. Consider using scents that accompany the room and lift it and to give it a finished feel.

IMG_20190216_112533_937Choosing the right scent for a room is very important. If you dont know what scent to go with, a tip is to choose a scent that relates to the room it is going in. Coffee scent for the kitchen. Fresh linen or cotton for the laundry. And in the bedroom, something soothing like a blend of lavender, geranium and chamomile. It is also important to choose how your scent is delivered. Candles are usually a favourite but unfortunately for someone like me with small children, it’s not always the most practical or safe option. My go to for scents in the home these days is an electric diffuser. Switch it on for an hour or two and you’ll have your home smelling devine. We have a large one in our living area which is used most days. As well as smaller ones in the bedrooms which I use with lavender based scents to help us sleep. And occasionally with eucalyptus if anyone is feeling a bit under the weather. A few drops of essential oil is enough to fill the air with your favourite scent which both smells great and is beneficial health wise as well.


Currently in my own home, I use a diffuser and oils from Tri Nature. An Australian owned and operated company which has been leading the way in responsible home alternatives since 1989. Their products harness the power of plant based ingredients, pure essential oils and herbal extracts with unique, sophisticated formulas. With over 25 years of environmental manufacturing expertise, as well as winning countless awards time and again for product excellence and innovation, they continue to demonstrate that they are the very best in all aspects of performance, safety and sustainability. The Tri Nature range includes everything from cleaning products, personal care and pet products, through to aroma products including 100% essential oil, oil blends, massage oils and room spray.

IMG_20190216_120039_969I personally love the Tri Nature pure essential oils and blends and have the Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser on my bedside table. I like to pop a few drops of the Sweet Dreams blend in to the diffuser and turn on half an hour before going to bed. The scent fills the room and I find that it helps me to relax and fall asleep. Occasionally during the days I like to use the Wellbeing blend to help me relax or to help me get motivated when doing some product styling around the house. Some days, just because I feel like having some soothing scents to help me through the day, I’ll pop in something like the Lemon Myrtle or Geranium in to the diffuser. Diffusers create a gentle scent which wafts throughout a room and because the oils are natural, it’s a family friendly, safe way to add a gorgeous smell to an interior.

IMG_20190216_121516_650Another scented item I like to use around the house is a scented room spray. Don’t let the name make you think that they are just for spraying around in the air to give off a short lived scent. They are also perfect for spraying over bed linen, cushions, couches etc. The smell is absorbed into the fabric, giving off a longer lasting smell. Great for masking odors or to simply keep a room smelling fresh. Currently I am using the Tri Nature  Japanese Quince room spray. It is a beautiful, clean smelling scent which is perfect for using when decorating, when you are expecting company or after a good house clean. I personally like to mist mine over the cushions around my house to leave a fresh scent after I’ve cleaned the house.

Playing around with scents in the home is fun! And to me, it’s a must when decorating a home. So do your research. See what scents you are attracted too and which ones are suited to your home, and have your guest’s ooh-ing and aah-ing when they come to visit.






Zoe – The DIY Decorator

Bed Making With Just Bedding

sian-white-qcs-main-kas-white_1One of the most common questions I’m asked via my social media pages is “how do I make my bed look magazine worthy”? Now, I am no bed making expert, but over the years as a visual merchandiser and property stylist, I have literally made hundreds if not thousands of beds! These days, I’m only making my own and the kids beds, but I do still like changing things up and playing with different bedding styles and pieces to create a different look when I feel like a change. So today I am going to share with you some tips to help you make your own bed look amazing!

carnation_denim_main_3Now, lets be honest. Most beds we see in magazines are styled to the max and consist of copious amounts of layered blankets, throws and cushions. Don’t get me wrong, they look great but it isn’t really practical for every day people living busy lives. Spending 15 minutes every morning making the bed and another 5 or so minutes taking everything off at night can become very tiring and make the love of a heavily styled bed fade fast. Husband’s everywhere are nodding their heads right now in agreement. If there’s one thing they hate, it’s having to remove more than one tristan_white_main_3scatter cushion before they can rest their poor heads down at the end of the day. Bless them. For me, a nice covered quilt, throw rug and 3 cushions is perfect to dress my queen size bed. I like to change things up simply by changing the arrangement of the cushions or where the throw sits on the bed. It’s amazing how many different looks you can create from just a few bedding pieces.

Here’s a few of my tips to consider using to jazz up your bed.

  • My biggest tip to remember when styling a bed is that if you are using a plain quilt cover, add some interest via texture, pattern and colour with cushions, blankets and throws. However, if your quilt cover is quite busy, keep those elements simple by instead using complimenting textured, block colour items so that the cover is the star and the other items are backing it up. Your bed should be inviting and calming. Too much colour, pattern or layered items can create a jumbled mess.
  • Using harmonious colour will instantly give your bed a magazine look. If you like natural tones, use white, beige and browns together and maybe pop in a touch of sage green. If you prefer a more Scandi look, mix together grey and white items with a touch of pink. Or, if luxe is your style, try black and greys with touches of metallic elements to add some shine.
  • Play around with cushions, using different shaped and sized ones. A great combination for scatter cushions is to use a large square cushion, a smaller rectangle one and a round one together placed centred over the pillows. When choosing cushions to use, a great tip is to have a cushion with colour, a cushion with texture and a cushion with pattern. This is a great way to create interest oj the bed whilst creating a cohesive look. Also consider using European cushions against the bed head to add in another layer and instantly give your bed a hotel luxe vibe.
  • To create layers to the bed, try using a sheet pulled back over the quilt cover to create a block of colour and give a formal look. You could also use a second quilt with cover to drape over the end of the bed to give a more luxe and fuller style. Also play around with throw rug position. Drape over the end of the bed or throw randomly on to the bed to create a more casual look. Or to mix things up, try positioning one up near the pillows, under your cushions. For a really layered look, incorporate a blanket draped over the end of the bed, layered with a smaller throw rug on top.
  • Have fun! My biggest tip is to create what you love and you will always be happy with it. Sure, follow the rules but also remember to add a bit of you to your interior. Creating something that is a reflection of you will bring a smile to your face when you look at it and that’s what matters most.

silverton-linen-qcs-private-collectionAnother question I am often asked is where to get quality bedding from? Nobody wants one of those annoying slippery quilt covers that constantly need to be re-adjusted. All though I am all about bargain buys and saving money when decorating, I do believe in spending a good amount of money on your bedding as it’s something you are constantly using so you want it to not only to be comfortable, but to look good and last as well. Just Bedding is Australia’s leading retailer of online bedding. Since 2005, they have been offering a huge range of designer quilt covers, matching European pillowcases, sheet sets, doonas, throw blankets and cushions to suit many interior styles. Offering all sized bedding from single up to super king, Just Bedding stock major bedding brands, such as Sheridan, KAS, Logan & Mason, Ultima, and more. They offer free Australia-wide shipping from Sydney to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane (International shipping also available). 30 day returns, and AfterPay and ZipPay are also available. Keep an eye out on their website as they do have great sales and often offer discount codes which are also great!

IMG_20190203_150330_406I am lucky enough to have in my possession the Silverton quilt cover set quilt cover set by Private Collection which is via Just Bedding. A quality quilt cover and matching pillow slip set which although lends itself to a more traditional style of interior (as styled in the above image), however I feel it can also be suited to a more natural, Boho style as well. By simply breaking up the bold pattern with some softer decorative cushions and a linen valance, the cover works perfectly in my naturally decorated master bedroom as you can see to the left and below. Even though this design is very neutral in colour, it is highly patterned so I wanted to break up the boldness with the help of similar neutral tones. Paired with some complementing decorative accessories, the Silverton is still the feature of the room whilst looking right at home. To layer it over winter, I would add in a heavy, textured throw rug draped over the end of the bed which is both functional and a decorative statement piece.

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It’s amazing how you can change the look of a whole room just by playing around with a few key bedding items. Invest in some quality pieces for your bedroom and play around with how they are arranged on your bed. Keep in mind the above tips and you’ll be able to create a space that gets you excited for bed time while also having your friends commenting on how magazine worthy it looks at the same time.






Zoe – The DIY Decorator 

Kidz Shack Cubby Makeover

IMG_20181109_135641_153As a kid, my sister and I had some interesting cubby houses. A wood shed. A caravan. A tree. And even an old rusty plough that we somehow made in to a house…(Keep in mind we lived on 5 acres in a country town). My kids are the age where they can have their first cubby to create their own memories in, so it was time to get my DIY on and create a space for them to play and let their imaginations run wild. The Summer Shack plus carport from Kidz Shack (find here) was the perfect base for me to makeover. It’s a great size and made from quality materials, so I know that it will be used for many years to come. When approaching the design for the house, I wanted not to be too “kiddy” as I want the kids to be able to grow with it and perhaps use it as more of a hang-out zone when they are older. After scouring the internet for inspiration, I settled on a black and brown boho style.


The Summer shack was delivered flat packed, so with drill in hand I put it together. It took me around 2.5 hours in total with a little help from my husband (ladies, I did 90% on my own 💪). Now, I built ours unpainted. If I were to do the project again, I would paint the individual pieces before assembling as it would be much easier! Painting was time consuming, mainly because I chose to use the different colours instead of painting one solid colour. Even though the cubby is sitting in our patio area under cover, I still chose to use Taubmans low sheen sunproof exterior paint wich you can find here from Bunnings. The two colours I went with which are also from Taubmans, are Coffee Break and Trendy. Find here. For the flooring, I kept with the natural theme and used the Smart Home Products blackbutt aquasmart plank flooring which you can find here.


When it came to decorating the cubby, I knew that I wanted to add in lots of greenery and natural toned and textured items that would contrast well against the black and brown. By combining both decorative items and kids play toys, it creates an on trend area that looks great and which the kids can continue enjoying as they get older. Full list of items featured below:

  • Zohi Interiors 2 tier hanging basket. Find here.
  • Zohi Interiors Teepee reversible outdoor floor rug. Find here.
  • Walls Of Stories personalised wooden letters. Find here.
  • Hello Red Hen felt ball garland. Find here.
  • Tiger Tribe vintage tea sets. Find here.
  • Final Touch Decor framed canvas wall art. Find here.
  • Little Cove Living brass palm wall hooks. Find here.
  • The Mindful Designer personalised toy box. Find here.
  • In Good Order wood look labels. Find here.
  • Seeya Collection shaggy cushion. Find here.
  • Krash Home round ottoman. Find here.
  • Bunnings artificial hedge. Find here.
  • Bunnings bamboo screening. Find here.
  • The Reject Shop artificial turf. Find here.
  • The Reject Shop side table small round side table (old stock).
  • Spotlight macrame wall hanging. Find here.
  • Target round macrame wall hanging. Find here.
  • Kmart toy kitchen, toy BBQ, kids chair, artificial bouquets, black hanging baskets, bulb solar lights, hanging cage solar light, baskets. Find here.


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May Gibbs Room Makeover

PhotoGrid_1540628672110As a kid, I was a big reader. I fell in love with books and in love with the inspiration and imagination they opened me up to. Some of my favourite authors we’re Dr Seuss, Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. But my all time favourite, whose books I read over and over again was May Gibbs. I think it was the combination of the storylines in her books, along with the fact that I lived in the country, so the bush theme throughout her stories resignated with me. I remember wondering if there were really gum nut babies and Banksia men living in the bushland behind our home and would often keep an eye out for them during walks. Fast forward to almost 20 years later and I’m rummaging through a local op shop and come across a copy of a May Gibbs book (see right). It instantly brought back such happy images (3)memories for me. As soon as I got back home, I started researching May Gibbs and gum nut baby themed home decor. Now, as much as I would have loved to give my own bedroom a bushland makeover, I’m not sure that my husband would be on board. Or that it’s OK for a 33 year old mother of two to have her bedroom decorated in a May Gibbs theme… So naturally, the next best thing to do was to push the idea on to my 1 year old daughter who has can’t tell me no yet. And so Harper’s May Gibbs Room makeover began.

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IMG_20181026_131107_612It’s funny how some times in life, things are meant to be. I was meant to find that book that day. Because soon after when I contacted the lovely people at May Gibbs, they informed me that October 2018 was the 100th anniversary of May Gibbs releasing Snuggle Pot & Cuddle Pie. What are the chances! So this opened the door to an array of home items which were coming out as a part of a collaborative range between May Gibbs and some well known Australian home decor and clothing stockists. So fortunately for me, I was gifted some absolutely amazing stunning for Miss Harper and her room, as well as finding some items perfect for the room from some large and small retailers. Below are some image’s of how the room came together, as well as a product list of all the items I’ve used. I am so happy with how the room came together and feel that it is a special place that suits the natural look of our home while paying homage to one of my favourite authors and both of our love of the Australian landscape.

IMG_20181026_132011_682I wanted to create a real feature dedicated to May Gibbs on one of the walls in the room and so decided to add in a gallery wall. I enlisted the help of  Perth business Vertical Print to print an original May Gibbs image directly on to the wall. This process was amazing to watch and I am beyond happy with the final piece. Something unique and very special to treasure for years to come. I also used various pieces from Spineless Classics, Head in the Cloud GiftsMinky Dinks and No Longer Lostas well as images I collected from books and ones I already had in my possession that fit the theme.

When it came to the colour scheme of the room, I drew inspiration from gum leaves. As they age, their colour goes from a vibrant green to tones of earthy yellows and pinks. So I purchased a quilt cover set and throw blanket from Adairs which brought in these tones, as well as a pink floor rug from IKEA. To bring in the green element to the bed, a gorgeous custom made pillow slip from small business Princess Panda Pants and plenty of artificial greenery. The amazing cane bed head was a find from a Facebook buy and sell page which I picked up for just $25. I’m so happy to have found it as its a real feature in the room.

When I found out that Walnut Melboure were releasing a kids clothing and shoe range in collaboration with May Gibbs, then first thing I asked of course was if they made it in adult sizing? Really, I am that obsessed with Snugglepot & Cuddlepie 🙊 Their range is simply stunning and the quality is amazing! It includes onsies, shirt and pants, baby blankets, bibs and shoes. My little gum nut certainly looks adorable in her storytime onsie and shoes. To view the rest of the range, head here.

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IMG_20181026_125654_311May Gibbs have also collaborated with two fantastic Australian home decor brands to bring out a range of children and home items to celebrate the anniversay. Make Me Iconic, who have released a wooden puzzle range and Ecology, who have brought out a range which includes mug and coaster sets, placemats and coasters, gardening tools, aprons, hunting, toiletry bags and more. May Gibbs have also released a range of toddler and children’s books inspired by the Bush baby friends as well as a 100th Anniversay edition of the complete adventures or Snuggle pot & Cuddlepie. Head here to view the entire book range.

IMG_20181018_084104_518A big thank you to everyone who was involved in this makeover. Especially Rosalie at May Gibbs. None of this would have happened without her help and guidance and also for arranging some of the beautiful pieces in the room. You have not only made a little girl very happy, but her Snugglepot & Cuddlepie loving mum as well 🍃💚

Zoe Gilpin – The DIY Decorator 



Christmas Decor Inspiration 2018

PhotoGrid_1538530550044The most gorgeous Santa sacks you ever did see 😍 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 ‘scratchie’ 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 🍸 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 hereUse 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.


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!






Zoe – The 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…🐷 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 pâtissier 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…🙊 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 ‘grazing platter creators‘ to our resumes 😉


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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 – The DIY Decorator 

Hamptons Home Styling With I Wanna Go Home


Images Via Pinterest

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’s 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 – The DIY Decorator

DIY Dollhouse


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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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’s 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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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’ve 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’s a favourite because it’s 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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